The question of the choice between electrical discharges and chemical explosives as a source for shockwaves in water is replied to by comparing the form of the pressure-time curves, their peak pressure, impulse and energy as a function of the electrical and chemical characteristics together with the distance from the pressure source. Based on the latter, empirical formulas have been established. The investigation shows the existence of a scaling-law for shock waves from electrical discharges analogous with that previously known from chemical explosives. Smaller deviations at the front and on the exponential part of the shock wave are stated. By means of a Fourier analysis differences in the energy spectre for both types of waves appear. The acoustical efficiency of the two types of waves has seen examined. It is concluded that electrical discharges can be an advantageous substitute for chemical explosives in a number of fields.

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