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Is there any way of creating a "home-made" effect of shock diamond phenomenon that I could take a picture of? If so, How could I make one?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sorry Dan, the answer is "NO"...

Shock diamonds are produced when there's a huge difference between the exit pressure and the ambient pressure. A series of shocks and expansion fans form to match the radial distribution of the flow's exit pressure to the ambient environment. Much more simply, those phenomena are very necessary (and the only ones available) to introduce a discontinuous change in the flow properties.

In aeronautics, we say "Mach" ($v$ to $c$ ratio) only when something attains a good percent of the speed of sound in that medium (which here is air). That "supersonic" property should be noted because these are seen only during blasts of gas (at a nozzle, a vent or artillery) at supersonic speeds which are impossible to attain while sitting at home and watching TV. In order to do such things, you'll require a large space, loads of fuel and mainly "an afterburner"...

Note: I mentioned that you simply can't create those diamonds. But, you could do a lot of things in photography. Like, picturing some cool flame torches in oxy-acetylene (or an alkane) welding torch and do some tricks using whatever you've got good in image effects. Or, you could blend some to create diamonds like these people.

If you still wanna see a shock, you'd need something like the Schlieren apparatus. Balloon pops & bull whips also produce shocks. They can be photographed using the schlieren, and so if you have access to a supersonic testing laboratory (where these experiments are quite common), you may end up in something cool. In jet aircrafts, the visualization is provided by the flames and so, a schlieren is not required in that case.

Last year, we used the apparatus to visualize those shocks. Here's a grey-scale image of the exit. Shocks can't be seen (for they're of the size of a few molecules), but the dense cones indicate the region behind those shocks where there's a giant bunching up of the fluid molecules...

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Thanks alot for your answer, the homework asseignment notes that we cannot edit the photos we take. if that is not possible (and this is a bit off-question but please answer) do you have other ideas that I can take picture of? (it should be creative and unique not something silly like a reflaction..), Thanks again :-) – Dan Barzilay Oct 20 '12 at 19:23
@DanBarzilay: Sorry Dan, That was my last post 'cause it was time to go away... Natural (Physical) Phenomena include Rainbows, Lightning, Mist, Fog, Rain and so on... But, it's the way you photograph what makes it creative & unique :-) Was your homework already completed? – Waffle's Crazy Peanut Oct 21 '12 at 15:10
no it's like a big project so it's for 2 months from now so i got time to think about it :P yeah i know that its how you photograph it but i'm asking you for a suggestion on that. btw i didn't down-voted it i upvoted.. – Dan Barzilay Oct 21 '12 at 16:48
@DanBarzilay: No Dan, I didn't mean you. This normally happens at SE. We don't know who has done the drive-by down-vote. But in order to get their attention, these comment-like lines are better to insert (just a hope that they'd see and comment on it) at the end of answer... – Waffle's Crazy Peanut Oct 21 '12 at 17:27
alright thanks for trying to help i think that ill try and photograph something pretty with the tyndall effect, if you still have any suggestions you are welcome to comment :) – Dan Barzilay Oct 21 '12 at 19:42

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