Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Doppler Effect and Environment

In class today the topic of the Doppler Effect came up, and I asked students to explain it for those unfamiliar. A very bright student said correctly that it's when a wave frequency is altered for someone who is in motion. He said an example is how the sound of a police car changes from a higher pitched sound as it approaches to a lower pitched sound when it drives away. I found that example fascinating, because in Nebraska schools I always heard it explained in relation to train whistles. I guess there are more police sirens than train whistles in New Orleans.

1 comment:

Garth Gilmour said...

Hi Mike

Interesting that the doppler effect came up. There's an old (but very good) article by Jim Deetz on the doppler effect and archaeology that you (and your students?) will enjoy. It's on JSTOR here: