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, 88 (24), 244301

Shape of a Cracking Whip

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Shape of a Cracking Whip

Alain Goriely et al. Phys Rev Lett.

Abstract

The crack of a whip is produced by a shock wave created by the supersonic motion of the tip of the whip in the air. A simple dynamical model for the propagation and acceleration of waves in the motion of whips is presented. The respective contributions of tension, tapering, and boundary conditions in the acceleration of an initial impulse are studied theoretically and numerically.

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