In a recent analysis, Chen and Gurtin have shown that whether a shock wave in a nonlinear viscoelastic material will grow, decay, or remain steady is directly related to whether the acceleration just behind the wave is greater than, less than, or equal to a certain critical acceleration. In this paper, we use the experimental results of Schuler and Barker to determine this critical-induced acceleration as a function of the strain behind the shock for polymethyl methacrylate.

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