Physic Tutorials

Notes on Doppler Effect for Cambridge A level

Doppler effect for students writing Cambridge A level physics- short note

This effect was first noted by Christian Doppler in 1842. The effect is widely used to measure velocities, usually by reflection of a transmitted wave from the moving object, ultrasound for blood in arteries, radar for speeding cars and thunderstorms. The velocities of distant galaxies are measured using the Doppler effect (the red shift).

What is Doppler effect? – It is the apparent change in frequency when there is a relative motion between the source and the observe.

As the source approaches

doppler effect formula for source moves toward observer

As the source moves away or recedes

doppler effect formula for source moves away from observer

V is the speed of sound

Vs is the sped of the source

Fs is the frequency of the source

F’ is the observed frequency by the stationary observer

Related Article: Note on direct current

The Doppler effect for electromagnetic waves such as light is of great use in astronomy and results in either a so-called redshift or blueshift. It has been used to measure the speed at which stars and galaxies are approaching or receding from us; that is, their radial velocities.

Red and blue shift

As the star moves away from the earth there will be increase in wavelength and decrease in frequency, this is redshift

As the star moves away towards the earth the wavelength will decrease and frequency will increase, this is blueshift

View the video on Doppler effect below

 

Bolarinwa Olajire

An associate lecturer with demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills, C++, Fortran, and Entrepreneurship. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter from University of Ibadan and PhD student at FUNAAB.

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