Sonic Booms
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2011 03:50 PM

My daughter heard a sonic boom about a month ago. She had never heard one before and it scared her. Shelley and I explained how common they were when we were in high school. Do you all remember sonic booms? I did a little checking on sonic booms. There is a sonic boom when a jet breaks the sound barrier. Military jets routinely break the sound barrier. Mach 1 refers to breaking the initial sound barrier. When a jet travels twice the speed of sound, it is traveling at Mach 2. Three times the sound barrier refers to Mach 3 and so on. Each time the jet accelerates or decelerates through a Mach speed, it breaks a sound barrier, resulting in a sonic boom. When the space shuttle returns to atmosphere it creates several sonic booms. The speed of sound is roughly 761 miles an hour depending on where it is measured. I found that in 1964 the government was collecting data on sonic booms in Oklahoma City. They had 8 sonic booms a day for 6 months. Can you imagine living in Oklahoma City at that time? The government received over 15,000 complaints. The citizens filed a class action law suit. The citizens won the law suit. Today the U.S. and most countries prohibit sonic booms. I was sure many of you were wondering what happened to the sonic booms.