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Do You Have a Science Question for our Community?

Do You Have a Science Question for our Community?

One of our members Miz Abynaah wanted to know more about the Doppler Effect ( Mike Aben  wrote this terrific explanation below as well as sharing this great video by +Alt Shift X.

Mike Aben: The Doppler Effect

The Doppler effect occurs whenever an object emitting waves is moving.  The effect is observed with any waves (water, sound, light, etc).  The waves being emitted ahead of the object’s motion are compressed, which means they will reach an observer at a higher frequency than if the object was stationary.  The waves emitted behind the object are stretched out and will reach an observer at a lower frequency.

With sound waves, this affects the pitch of the sound heard.  For example, the sound of a car traveling towards you will be at a higher pitch than the sound of a car moving away from you.  With visible light, it is the colour of the light that is affected.  Lower frequency light is redder, while higher frequency light is bluer.  For the effect to be noticeable with light, the relative velocity of the object to the observer has to be very high.


This post was chosen by Zuleyka Zevallos  for #SoG+CuratorsChoice  #physics   #science


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  1. nice but explain it for a centrifugal movement, I like your Science a lot I love it , send you to Ion Murgu postulate in Physics and to begin a discus there, first postulate is for heavy, but begin with second, we can


  2. I would suggest an edit – it is either the I object moving or the “listener” moving. It doesn’t matter which. It’s all relative! Think train moving and viewing platform next to train. Relativity.


  3. Recently learned how it affects sound waves, mind blown thinking that it can affect light too. Sadly light travels so fast, it must be impossible getting a light source to move fast enough to notice a color difference by eye.


  4. Dan Corby Because that’s what the Copenhagen Interpretation says it does. Well, not quite, but a wave-function is a complex function – and continuous.

    There is no justification for this continuously-valued function to have any specific value. But we only see specific values when we look at, say, the energy of an electron. So the term ‘collapse’ is used to go from the can-be-any-damned-thing to the specific value of such-and-such eV.

    It’s a poor choice of words – nothing ‘collapses’ no more so than a box of paperclips, when reached into, results in a paperclip being present at a certain place. Although, to complicate matters, the paperclips have ‘internal hidden variables’ (like position) that the quantum entities do not have. 



  5. I am so sorry for people thinking this is an explanation. There is NO explanation WHY here. Please edit your. Add the most important information about types of velocities(phase….),types of waves(transverse vs longitudal) and if you mention light explain why the frequency changes with the C constant for each observer because many people asociate doppler with c instead of the speed of the phase.


  6. The apparent change in the frequency of sound when a listner moves towards the source or the source moves towards the listner or both moves towatds or away from each other is called doppler effect.


  7. Michael Copenhaver i have seen a doco with just such as u query, it was in respect of perception and belief formation in the mind, they used water as a ripple effect – its all very interesting stuff.


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