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An experimental study has been made on the interaction of an underwater shock wave with two air bubbles attached to a gelatin surface. The shock wave was generated by detonating a microexplosive pellet, and the subsequent behavior of bubble collapse was visualized by high‐speed photography. By measuring the directivity and the maximum depth of the liquid jets of the two bubbles penetrating into the gelatin, it was found that when the bubbles are beyond a critical separation distance, the depth of the penetration was no longer affected by the presence of the other bubble, and that the penetration depth for a given bubble in a two‐bubble arrangement is a function of the size of the other bubble. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.