supersonic velocity

Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated

supersonic velocity Velocity greater than that of the local speed of sound. In dry air at standard temperature and pressure (STP), this speed is c.331m/s (1080ft/s) or 1190km/h (750mph). Its magnitude is usually expressed as a Mach number. This is the ratio of the speed of a body to the speed of sound in a medium such as air. A velocity in excess of Mach 5 is said to be hypersonic. Any object travelling at supersonic velocity leaves behind a shock wave that a ground observer hears as a sonic boom.