# Atmospheric focusing

This effect operates similarly to the patterns made by sunlight on the bottom of a pool, the difference is that the light is bent at the contact point with the water while the shock wave is distorted by density variations (e.g. due to temperature variations) in the atmosphere. Variations of wind can cause a similar effect. This will disperse the shock wave at some places and focus it at others. For powerful shock waves this can cause damage farther than expected; the shock wave energy density will decrease beyond expected values based on uniform geometry (${\displaystyle 1/r^{2}}$ falloff for weak shock or acoustic waves, as expected at large distances).