Basic Principles of Shock Compression
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Shock waves are the ubiquitous result of matter moving at velocities faster than the speed at which adjacent material can move out of the way. Examples range in scale from the shock waves generated by the collapse of microscopic cavitation bubbles to light-year scale “collisionless shocks” in the interstellar medium. The concept of a shock wave is well illustrated by the flow of snow in front of a moving snowplow (Fig. 2.1). When a plow begins moving into fresh, loose snow, a layer of packed snow builds up on the blade. The interface between the fresh snow and packed snow moves out ahead of the blade at a speed greater than that of the plow.
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