Is the sound of a whiplash caused by breaking the sound barrier?

A STAFF REPORT FROM THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD

Dear Straight Dope:

What is the sound a whip makes? I once heard it was the tip of the whip breaking the sound barrier.

SDStaff Dogster, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board replies:

Yep. The noise is actually a mini-sonic boom as the tip of the whip breaks the sound barrier. Now behave, or you won’t even hear it coming.

— Yer dog

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL'S ONLINE AUXILIARY. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU'D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED.

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