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This is not really an answer but a hint. I agree with you that the impact is not limited to the small collision zone and propagates back and forth throughout the length of the beam and the vibration speeds can easily become supersonic, with the air cracking sound. What you are asking is called whiplash vibrations. Your beam is considered a whip and the rigid ...


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The speed of sound is not a constant. The speed depends on the material the sound is traveling though. The speed of sound in aluminum, for instance, is roughly 20 times faster than air. If the microphone is mounted in a solid mount connected to the sound source, then the sound wave can propagate to the transducer through the mount faster than through the air....


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