image credit: Andrew Davidhazy, Rochester Institute of Technology
In this technique, the bullet, its shockwaves, and its turbulent wake cast a shadow of a flash of light directly onto the photographic film (hi-res version). The duration of the flash was about one microsecond.
To learn more about shock waves, you can visit Sonic Shock at the American Physical Society's outreach website Physics Central. Also, you can visit Shock Waves to see wave patterns for objects moving at various speeds, including supersonic. Even better, you can try a simulation at Doppler Physlet, which is produced by Davidson College.
Science Theater on Tour
This traveling theater troupe in southern California presents science concepts in lively theater shows for elementary school students.
To look for a physics roadshow in your region, click on "Physics on the Road" in the green navigation bar above.