A steel bullet in the form of a right circular cylinder which strikes a 10-mil-thick plane lead target at 45 deg incidence and at 2700 fps acquires on its front surface a series of corrugations, or waves, approximately 10 mils in amplitude and 40 mils in wave length. This phenomenon is investigated from a hydrodynamic point of view and it is found that similar waves develop at much lower velocities with materials which are viscous liquids under ordinary conditions. A mechanism of wave formation based on a hydrodynamic instability is presented.

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