Reference Terms
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Shock wave

In a supersonic flow the compression of a nonreacting gas can be most simply modelled as an isentropic or Prandtl-Meyer compression, or as a shock wave.

When an object (or disturbance) moves faster than the information about it can be propagated into the surrounding fluid, fluid near the disturbance cannot react or "get out of the way" before the disturbance arrives.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Shock wave", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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