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1. E. Mach, “ Uber den Verlauf Von Funkenwellen in der Ebene und im Raume,” Sitzungsbr. Akad. Wiss. Wein 78, 819838 (1878).
2. J. von Neumann, “ Oblique reflection of shocks,” in John von Neumann Collected Works, edited by A. H. Taub ( MacMillan, New York, 1963), Vol. 6, pp. 238299.
3. G. Ben-Dor, Shock Wave Reflection Phenomena ( Springer Verlag, New York, 2007), pp. 34 and 297–303.
4. P. Colella and L. F. Henderson, “ The von Neumann paradox for the diffraction of weak shock waves,” J. Fluid Mech. 213, 7194 (1990).
5. E. I. Vasiliev and A. N. Kraiko, “ Numerical simulation of weak shock diffraction over a wedge under the von Neumann paradox conditions,” Comput. Math. Phys. 39, 13351345 (1999).
6. B. Skews and J. Ashworth, “ The physical nature of weak shock wave reflection,” J. Fluid Mech. 542, 105114 (2005).
7. A. N. Semenov, M. K. Berezkina, and I. V. Krassovskaya, “ Classification of pseudo-steady shock wave reflection types,” Shock Waves 22, 307316 (2012). For simplicity, the “Single Mach-Smith Reflections” as described in this reference are referred to as “Mach reflections” in this Letter.
8. M. Geva, O. Ram, and O. Sardot, “ The non-stationary hysteresis phenomenon in shock wave reflections,” J. Fluid Mech. 732, R1R11 (2013).
9. S. Baskar, F. Coulouvrat, and R. Marchiano, “ Nonlinear reflection of grazing acoustic shock waves: Unsteady transition from von Neumann to Mach to Snell-Descartes reflections,” J. Fluid Mech. 575, 2755 (2007).
10. M. M. Karzova, V. A. Khokhlova, E. Salze, S. Ollivier, and P. Blanc-Benon, “ Mach stem formation in reflection and focusing of weak shock acoustic pulses,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 137, EL436EL442 (2015).
11. C. E. Needham, Blast Waves ( Springer, New York, 2010), pp. 216217.
12.ANSI S2.20-1983: American National Standard for Estimating Airblast Characteristics for Single Point Explosions in Air ( Acoustical Society of America, New York, 2006).
13. M. B. Muhlestein, K. L. Gee, and J. H. Macedone, “ Educational demonstration of a spherically propagating acoustic shock,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 131, 24222430 (2012).
14. S. M. Young, K. L. Gee, T. B. Neilsen, and K. M. Leete, “ Outdoor measurements of spherical acoustic shock decay,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 138, EL305EL310 (2015).
15. R. A. Kafiatullin, S. A. Eremin, and E. V. Sagadeev, “ Calculation of heats of combustion of acetylene hydrocarbons,” Theoretical Found. Chem. Eng. 41, 221224 (2007).
16. Equation (1) was incorrectly typeset in Ref. 11; private correspondence with Dr. Needham gave the revised equation used here. For the purposes of this Letter the name of the variable was changed from to .

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Mach stem formation during outdoor acoustic shock propagation is investigated using spherical oxyacetylene balloons exploded above pavement. The location of the transition point from regular to irregular reflection and the path of the triple point are experimentally resolved using microphone arrays and a high-speed camera. The transition point falls between recent analytical work for weak irregular reflections and an empirical relationship derived from large explosions.


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