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In the article Glass Half Empty from What If?, there is a drawing contain shockwave edge:

enter image description here

What does it mean? There is no explanation in the article about this. It seems like a flow or something. The lower half of the left glass is vacuum, and the upper half is water. The edge wave seems to be irrelevant, since it is a surface gravity wave fixed by refraction against a rigid boundary.

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That is just the shock front also called the ramp. It is where the density, temperature, pressure, and bulk flow speed change in a semi-discontinuous fashion. It is discontinuous only in that the changes in the above parameters occur on a scale length comparable to or shorter than the communication scale of the media, in this case the mean free path for binary particle collisions.

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