Shock Wave Quotes (2 quotes)
Whenever a new scientific concept comes into prominence, it sends shock waves of surprise to the scholars contributing to that field.
[After the flash of the atomic bomb test explosion] Fermi got up and dropped small pieces of paper a simple experiment to measure the energy liberated by the explosion [W]hen the front of the shock wave arrived (some seconds after the flash) the pieces of paper were displaced a few centimeters in the direction of propagation of the shock wave. From the distance of the source and from the displacement of the air due to the shock wave, he could calculate the energy of the explosion. This Fermi had done in advance having prepared himself a table of numbers, so that he could tell immediately the energy liberated from this crude but simple measurement. It is also typical that his answer closely approximated that of the elaborate official measurements. The latter, however, were available only after several days study of the records, whereas Fermi had his within seconds.