unsound (29/6/22)


a woodpecker pecks at about twenty times a second… don’t try this at home, it’ll end in tears……


take a seat, settle back, cradle your coffee and away we go… unlike the speed of light which has a fixed speed wherever it is of 299,792,458 metres (983,571,056 feet) per second, or about 186,282 miles per second, there is no fixed speed of sound which is measured at the what we call the ‘sound barrier’… how is that for a start?… and the sound barrier is determined by the medium that particular object, or set of objects, is travelling through, so the sound barrier at, say, ground level would be different than that higher into the atmosphere as it would also be different underwater at different depths, hence, the sound barrier is a movable feast and only occurs when the object moving through air does so at a speed too fast for the air before it to disperse as it would do normally under sub-sonic motion… which is why you will never break the sound barrier unaided, you simply can’t run that fast… very roughly speaking, at sea level and a standard temperature of 22 degree Celsius the speed of sound is about 345 metres per second, about 0.22 miles per second (equivalent to 770 mph, or 1,239 kph), and at 35,000 feet, this could be reduced to around 295 metres per second, about 0.19 miles per second (or 660 mph, or 1,062 kph)… but again, all depends on a whole host of conditions, climatic, barometric, atmospheric, and suchlike, as in underwater where the speed of sound in water is almost four times that of its speed in the air, about 1,500 metres per second… the volume of the sound barrier being broken is determined by the size of the object reaching it, although there isn’t as such any fixed point to reach, more a set of circumstances as  a result of a set of given factors colliding at a given point, and the reason why the sonic ‘boom’ is heard behind the object, as in after it’s past through it, figuratively-speaking, is because the boom itself is a product of the urgent back-filling of air rushing in to fill the void created by this ‘collision’, or breaking, by which time the cause has moved ahead of it, the larger the object the bigger the boom…

© 2022 robert greig

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