Doppler Effect

You might have heard the sound of a loudspeaker gradually diminishing when you move far away from it, while on the road. Similarly, as you approach the loudspeaker, the sound becomes clear and audible. This is what is the Doppler effect in scientific terms. 

To understand and define Doppler effect, students have to develop a stronghold on this topic. For this, you have to know the basics and the various aspects that you are about to learn. In simple words, a roadmap to go about the topic in detail will help you in developing an in-depth knowledge of the same. 

What is the Doppler Effect?

The above mentioned example was a real-life scenario that we often experience. However, there are advanced concepts in science that are used by scientists and astronomers. They use this phenomenon to derive conclusions for various scientific pursuits.

Look at the image above, which can be used to explain Doppler effect. It shows how the sound of an ambulance is different for two individuals located on either side of the vehicle.

The person on the right experiences a louder intensity as the vehicle approaches him. Contrarily, the sound of that ambulance seems to fade away for the other person as it speeds away.

When writing notes on Doppler effect, students should consider that this effect is also applicable to light. As we move nearer or farther to and from a light source, the intensity increases and decreases, respectively.

What is the Doppler Effect Used For?

In a broader spectrum, application of Doppler effect is as follows -

  • Measurement of blood flow

  • Measurement of vibration

  • Radars and sirens

  • Astronomical calculations

  • Communication with satellites

  • Developmental Biology

  • Measurement of velocity

  • Imaging in the medical field

  • Audio requirements

Therefore, the list above represents what is Doppler effect used for in real life. Students thus have to understand its related basics before moving in to more in-depth requirements. 

Doppler Effect Formula

The Doppler effect equation is given below in the image along with sign specifications. Students should be cautious while studying the formula. Besides, they should also be able to correlate frequency, velocity and speed for a wave. 

The Doppler Equation 

\[f' = \left( {\frac{{v \pm {v_o}}}{{v \mp {v_s}}}} \right){f_o}\]

  • This is the only equation for the Doppler effect, where f’ represents the frequency received by the observer

  • f0 represents the original frequency of the source 

In Doppler effect questions, both the source and the receiver of sound or light is taken into consideration. Therefore, you need to study the formula meticulously, so that solving numerical using this is not a problem anymore.

Also, consider the Doppler effect formula when source is moving away. As already mentioned, the Doppler effect is like a perspective which is not universal. It is likely to differ for different receivers located at various points.

Limitations of Doppler Effect

You can understand the limitation only when you know what is the doppler effect. This phenomenon is applicable only when the source and the receiver are in a straight line.

In addition, it stands true that the velocity of sound is higher than that of the receiver and its source.

Test Your Knowledge

Which of the following is true for the Doppler effect?

  1. Doppler effect has no limitation.

  2. Doppler effect cannot be used for light.

Answers - False, False

If you are looking for more information on what is the doppler effect, you can look into our online learning programs. You can get access to high quality study lessons to boost your learning. Now, you can even download our Vedantu app for convenient access to online classes and study materials from us.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What do you understand by Doppler effect?

Doppler effect is the effect of change in intensity of sound or light when a receiver moves away or closer to the source.

2. How is it used in case of light?

It affects light in a way when spatial bodies emit it. They are classified into - red-shifted, and blue-shifted. The former means light is travelling away from us, while the latter means light moving towards us.

3. What are the uses of Doppler effect?

It is used in medical imaging, sirens, radars, satellite communication, etc.