Ever wondered why a whip cracks? It is all to do with the release of stored energy, at a rate beyond the speed of sound. It is the loop itself that generates the sonic boom.
Why Whips Crack…
Why does whip cracking create such a very loud sound? A whip generates it’s speed through storing much of it’s energy. So when a person ‘throws’ the whip, that stored energy travels from the solid handle to the tip of the whip, which moves at a rate beyond the speed of sound 343 m /sec, creating a vacuum in space. The whip cracks as a result of the air rushing back into the vacuum.
Another theory put forward by Professor Goriely of the University of Arizona Department of Mathematics is that a whip’s tapered design accelerates a loop at high speed from the handle to the cracker at the tip of the whip.
Speeds can reach more than 30 times the initial speed. It is this loop in a cracked whip that is responsible for all the noise. As the loop travels along the whip, it generates speed until it reaches the speed of sound (343m/sec), and creates a sonic boom.
Although the loop travels at one speed, other parts of the whip, including the cracker in the final stages of motion, travel twice as fast. Even though those parts are moving twice as fast, it is the loop itself that generates the sonic boom.
Whip Cracking as a Sport
Sport cracking – Whip cracking as a sport requires great skill and accuracy and a a good whip is essential to developing routines and tricks as well as for for target work. While there are many styles of whips, the choice for whip cracking is between bullwhips and stockwhips. Whip craking competitions are held at various venues. We have taken sport cracking a step further and developed the sport of Whip Boxing.
Cracking New Video’s
As part of our ongoing commitment to education and the promotion of our craft, we have added some new video’s for your viewing pleasure.
Which is the right Whip for You?
How to Plait your Whip with the Aussie Whip Maker kit
How to Crack a Whip
Our Favourite Whip Cracks