the "crack" of a whip?

zipjack bebb at
Sun Feb 2 17:44:59 EST 1997

Robert Dyer <mrzip at> wrote:

>Pardon me if I am posting this in an inappropiate group.

>	What causes the sound that a whip (i.e bullwhip) makes when you
>"crack" it?

>	A friend and I are trying to settle a bet.  My friend contends
>that the sound is caused by the tip of the whip moving at such a spped
>that it breaks the "sound barrier" and therefore couses a small "sonic
>boom."  I disagree.

Hi Robert,

I don't know exactly where to send you for confirmation, but I believe
this is true.  In the case where the whip is being snapped in the air
(not hitting anything) the sound is a byproduct of the tremendous
velocity of the end of the whip exceeding the sound barrier.


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