Ultrafast Camera Captures ‘Sonic Booms’ of Light for First Time
Just as aircraft flying at supersonic speeds create cone-shaped sonic booms, pulses of light can leave behind cone-shaped wakes of light. Now, a superfast camera has captured the first-ever video of these events.
Sonic booms are confined to conical regions known as “Mach cones” that extend primarily to the rear of supersonic objects. Similar events include the V-shaped bow waves that a boat can generate when traveling faster than the waves it pushes out of its way move across the water.