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Exploration 18.4: Doppler Effect and the Velocity of the Source

Please wait for the animation to completely load.

This example shows the Doppler effect. The black dot represents the source of the sound wave and travels with a speed set by the slider. That speed is given in terms of the speed of sound: hence v = 1 corresponds to the speed of sound. Restart.

Vary the speed of the source from zero to the speed of sound and then to the maximum value allowed by the slider. Watch the animation and answer the questions below.

  1. How does the pattern of the wave fronts change according to vsource?
  2. For vsource > vsound (slider values > 1) how does the V-shaped shock wave vary according to vsource?

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Physlets were developed at Davidson College and converted from Java to JavaScript using the SwingJS system developed at St. Olaf College.

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