Breaking the Sound Barrier


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Today, Felix Baumgartner boarded a 3,000 pound capsule, hoisted up by a 30 million cubic feet helium balloon and jumped from 128,097 feet, fell for four minutes and 19 seconds, and reached a speed of 706mph in an attempt to break the sound barrier. 

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The previous world record was set 52 years ago by Chuck Yaegar for breaking the sound barrier in an aircraft. 


The sound barrier is the point at which an object moves from transonic to supersonic speed (Wikipedia). Supersonic speed is when an object is at a rate of travel that exceeds the speed of sound. As an example, an object traveling in a temperature of 68F, the speed is about 768mph. When an object breaks the sound barrier, a sonic boom is heard. These booms are generated from shock waves and generate large amounts of sound energy. If you were standing watching a plane, the plane would pass by you before you would actually hear the sound the plane makes. 


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While many have attempted to break the sound barrier in the past, there has been a disappearance of the sound barrier due to the progressive science of aerodynamics. Scientists have made aircrafts that make it pretty impossible to even notice the barrier has been crossed. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19943590

1 Comment

I also read a few articles on this event, and I found it extremely interesting. First, I thought it was pretty crazy that it only took about 4 minutes. Second, I thought it was nice to hear that the previous record holder was giving advice, as breaking records like this are even bigger than the one individual who is completing the act.

It also made me wonder, if man can do this, how much father can we go? When does it become too much? What can't we, as a planet, accomplish?

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