Origin of mach
Words nearby mach
Other definitions for mach (2 of 3)
Other definitions for mach (3 of 3)
MORE ABOUT MACH
How fast is Mach 1?
Where did the term Mach 1 come from?
The use and name of Mach numbers was proposed by Swiss engineer Jakob Ackeret in a 1929 lecture in Zurich. Ackeret named the number after the physicist Ernst Mach, who conducted an experiment photographing an object moving faster than the speed of sound in 1887. The name was quickly adopted by the broader scientific community.
The first manned flight to achieve Mach 1 was piloted by Chuck Yeager in 1947. Since then, unmanned jets have cracked Mach 9 and manned vehicles, Mach 3.
Scientist and author Isaac Asimov popularly described the concept of Mach numbers for lay readers in his 1966 book Understanding Physics. Since then, Mach numbers have been used in entertainment and marketing as a general signifier for adventurously or aspirationally great speeds.
In the anime series Speed Racer, which first aired in the U.S. in 1967, the protagonist drives a car called the Mach 5. Five in Japanese is go, so the name of the car—Mach Go in the original Japanese—was a bilingual pun.
Ford Motor Company produced a high-performance special edition of its Mustang called the Mach 1 from 1969–78, re-released in 2003. In 2018, Ford announced plans for an electric SUV called the Mach 1. A NASCAR team also took the name Mach 1 racing from 1981–89.
A English prog rock band called themselves Mach One in the 1980s.
How to use the term Mach 1
Mach 1 and Mach speed are widely used in technical senses in aeronautics, where the velocity is notated as M=1. They are also used more colloquially to refer to any extreme speed. A 1996 book on mountain biking, for instance, exaggerates the pace of riders who “reach Mach speed” on straightaways.
Mach 1 may even be used to describe metaphorical speed. For example, a 1994 business book promised rapid sales with its title of Selling at Mach 1.
More examples of Mach 1:
“What Fords there were, as you’d expect, were mostly Mustangs. One that moved on to a new owner was a 1970 Mach 1 that sold for $41,800.”
—Rich Truesdell, Hot Rod Network, February 2018
“Magnetic levitation and big vacuum pumps would do away with pesky friction and air resistance, letting those bus-sized vehicles zip along at speeds approaching Mach 1.”
—Alex Davies, Wired, February 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use mach in a sentence
The jet is “redlined” at Mach 2, but structurally it can reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.25.
Her songs range from mach-10 electro-pop, as on the track “SuperLove,” to a more punk-pop sound, a la Siouxsie Sioux or Blondie.SXSW Breakout Musical Acts: London Grammar, Chance the Rapper, Jungle, and More|Marlow Stern|March 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But during that time in hell in Mach his beard turned pure white.Freed Taliban Prisoners in Pakistan and Afghanistan Return to Jihad|Ron Moreau & Sami Yousafzai|December 6, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Slowing down in preparation for parachute deploy at Mach 1.7.Curiosity’s Mars Landing Narrated Moment by Moment by Flight Director Keith Comeaux|Keith Comeaux|August 7, 2012|DAILY BEAST
L A composition of papier mach, with which Dr. Azoux has so beautifully represented anatomical subjects.History of Embalming|J. N. Gannal
Meanwhile Mach came to my hotel and I spent four hours walking and supping with him at his club, an unforgettable conversation.The Letters of William James, Vol. 1|William James
After making prodigious havock in many other places, Alfonzo returned to Columbo with mach spoil and many prisoners.
Haeckel, Ostwald, and Mach have each given the world a constructive system of thought.An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy|W. Tudor Jones
For light, solid articles it is mixed and compressed very much as our papier-mach.