# Lab M6: The Doppler Effect

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1 M6.1 Lab M6: The Doppler Effect Introduction The purpose in this lab is to teach the basic properties of waves (amplitude, frequency, wavelength, and speed) using the Doppler effect. This effect causes the frequency of sound waves to be higher for a source that is approaching you and lower for a source that is moving further away. Sound is a pressure wave in air. When we hear a sound, we are sensing a small variation in the pressure of the air near our ear. The speed of a sound wave in air, v sound, is about 340m/s; sound travels 1 mile in about 5 seconds. This speed depends only on the properties of the air (temperature, composition, etc.), not on the frequency or wavelength of the wave and not on the motion of the source or receiver. Consider a sinusoidal sound wave in air with frequency f and wavelength λ. The speed v sound is related to f and λ by (1) v sound = f λ. To see where this relation comes from, think: (2). The time it takes for one wavelength of the sound to pass by is the period T, so v = λ/t. But so v = f λ. Note that as f increases, λ goes down, but the speed v stays the same. The frequency range of human hearing is about 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. (The upper end drops as we age; for people over 60, it is 8-13 khz, while dogs can hear up to about 35 khz.) When the siren from an ambulance passes by a listener, the listener reports a change in the pitch of the siren. This is the Doppler effect for sound waves. A source of sound moving away from the receiver (listener) has a lower apparent frequency (tone or pitch), while a source moving toward the receiver has a higher frequency. The frequency shift is approximately proportional to the relative speed of the source and receiver. To understand the Doppler effect, consider a stationary receiver detecting the sound from a moving source, a source which is emitting a sound wave with constant frequency f o. Let us consider the case in which the source is moving directly toward the stationary receiver with a speed v. In this context, stationary and moving mean at rest or not with respect to the air which carries the sound. The diagram below shows a series of successive wavefronts emitted when the source was at positions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.. The time between successive wavefronts emitted by the source is the period distance., and during the time T o, the source moves a

2 M6.2 If the source were not moving, the spherical wavefronts would be concentric, centered on the stationary source, and the distance between successive wavefronts would be the wavelength λ o. The speed of sound v sound, the wavelength λ o, the frequency f o, and period T o are related by equation (1) (3) Because the source is moving, the wavefronts are crowded together on the side near the receiver, and the distance between wavefronts, on the receiver side, is (4) These wavefronts strike the receiver at intervals of seconds with a frequency, which is related to v sound and by [equation (1) again] (5).

3 M6.3 Solving for, we have (6) (receiver stationary, source approaching). The frequency is shifted up and the receiver hears a higher pitch. With some algebra, one can show that the frequency shift is given by (7), which, if v << v sound, is approximately (8). From eq n (3), solving for, we have (9). Thus, one can determine of the source. from measurements of the frequency shift and the speed If the source is receding from, rather than approaching the stationary receiver, then the ( ) sign in eq n (4) is replaced with a (+) sign, and the frequency is shifted down. If the source is stationary, and the receiver is moving, then a new derivation is required and one obtains a different formula (not shown here). Radar guns use the Doppler effect, but with electromagnetic waves, rather than sound waves. The policeman s radar gun acts as both a transmitter and receiver. It emits a radar signal of known frequency, which is reflected from a moving car, and the Doppler-shifted reflected signal is detected.

4 M6.4 Experiment The source is an ultrasonic speaker, which emits a tone at about 40 khz well above the range of human hearing. The source rides on an air track glider, whose speed is determined with a pair of photogates and a timer. An ultrasonic receiver detects the sound from the source and the frequency is displayed on a high-precision frequency counter. Both the transmitter and the receiver signals are displayed on the oscilloscope. The experiment is to measure the frequency shift as a function of the speed of the source, and, using these data, to compute the speed of sound. A schematic of the experimental apparatus is shown below. Begin by leveling the air table. After turning on the air supply, place the glider midway between the photogates, and adjust the height of the leveling foot until the glider remains stationary. Make sure that the blocking card attached to the glider interrupts the photogates. The timer starts when the card interrupts gate 1, stops when the card interrupts gate 2, and displays the time interval. The resolution of the timer can be set to either 1 or 0.1 msec resolution, but with 0.1msec resolution, the timer overflows at only 2 sec; use 1 msec resolution to avoid overflow. In addition, be careful not to push the glider too fast; the thin cables attached to the glider are very delicate. By measuring the distance glider can be computed from between the two photogates, the speed v of the. Make sure that nothing interferes with thin wires leading to the source, as the glider travels back and forth on the air track. On the oscilloscope, observe both the signal to the source (on channel 2) and the signal from the receiver (on channel 1). The ultrasonic transducers used for the source and receiver resonate at a fixed frequency of around 40 khz; they do not function well at frequencies far from 40 khz. With the source stationary, turn the fine adjust knob on the sine-wave generator to tune the frequency of the source for maximum signal on the receiver. After allowing the sine-wave generator several minutes to warm up and stabilize, record the frequency f o of the source with the frequency meter. With the glider stationary, there is no Doppler shift, and the frequency of the source and receiver are identical. Hold the glider stationary and read f o from the receiver frequency meter, which has a 1 Hz resolution. Check f o frequently; if it is drifting you will have to record it each time you take data. Make sure that the receiver is directly in front of the transmitter, at the same height, etc. so that the source moves directly toward the receiver. The TTL output of the sine-wave generator is used to externally trigger the oscilloscope. This ensures that there is always a stable display on the oscilloscope.

5 M6.5 Procedure Part 1. Speed of sound from the measured Doppler shift Your task is to measure the frequency at the receiver and hence the frequency shift, as a function of the speed of the source. From these data, you will compute the speed of sound, as shown below. Reset the timer to zero and push the glider toward the receiver so that it passes through gates 1 and 2 at a uniform speed. Record the frequency f on the frequency meter and the photogate time interval. Repeat this procedure for several (at least 10) trials, varying the speed of the glider over as large a range as possible. You cannot let the speed of the glider go much faster than 1 m/sec (which is pretty fast!) or the frequency counter won t have time to record the frequency. The frequency meter works by counting cycles for one second (frequency in Hz = number of cycles in one second). There is a little red light which is on while the meter is counting. The counter should take a measurement of the frequency every second so the light should stay on for about one second while the counter is making its measurement. If this light is blinking faster than one second intervals or stays on for longer than one second, then an adjustment needs to be made on the counter. Make an initial measurement of f o each time before you push the cart through the photogates to make a measurement of f. To make a measurement of f, start with the cart at one end of the track and give it a small push so that it is moving at a constant velocity when it triggers the photogate timer. The cart should take a couple of seconds (3-6 seconds) to travel from one photogate to the next. During this time watch the frequency counter and when the reading stabilizes at a single value estimate and record the f measurement. Record the time between the photogates for this run. Repeat this

6 M6.6 procedure until you have made at least 10 measurements of f o and f and the time it takes for the cart to travel through the photogates. On the table near the track there is some sound-absorbing foam material which serves the important function of preventing reflected sound (echoes) from reaching the receiver. Make sure the foam covers the side of the track. If the sound absorbers were not present, then the receiver would receive not only the direct-path sound from the transmitter but also various reflected-path echoes. The echoes can interfere destructively with the direct-path sound causing a loss of signal at the receiver. If the receiver signal drops below about 0.2V peak-to-peak, then the frequency counter cannot count correctly and the displayed frequency will be too low. Check that the receiver is getting adequate signal by observing the oscilloscope output as you slide the transmitter along the whole length of the track. Stop the transmitter at any points along the track where the receiver signal is unusually small, and check that the frequency counter is still displaying f o. Plot your measured frequency shift vs. the speed v of the source. You should get a very straight line, as predicted by eq n (9). From the appearance of the graph, decide whether any of the data points should be thrown out. (If one point deviates substantially from the others, it is usually an indication that a number was recorded incorrectly.) For each of the good data points, compute the speed of sound from eq n (6). Using your several values of v sound, compute the mean, the standard deviation, and the standard deviation of the mean. (To avoid subscript chaos, we write vs for v sound below.) N vsavg = 1 N i=1 s = N i=1 - vsavgl 2 N - 1 smean = s N Part 2. Comparison with the known speed of sound The speed of sound in air depends on the temperature according to (10) where the temperature T is in degrees Celsius. This expression is only accurate for temperatures near room temperature. (You can read the temperature from the big dial

7 M6.7 thermometer on the wall in the lab). Compare this theoretical v theory computed from eqn(10) with your measured v meas from Part 1. Part 3. Calculation of the wavelength of the ultrasonic wave From the known frequency f o and your measured v sound from Part 1, compute the wavelength of the sound. Also compute the uncertainty. Part 4. Interferometry and wavelength In an interferometer, a signal that has taken a direct path from a source to a receiver is compared with a signal that has taken an alternate path. On channel 1 of the oscilloscope is the electrical signal directly to the transmitter. On channel 2 is the signal from the receiver that hears the sound after passing through about a meter of air. If this air path is a whole number (N) of wavelengths, these two signals will be in phase and will add. If the air path is N + 1/2 wavelengths, the signals will be out of phase and will tend to cancel. The subtraction will not give exactly zero unless the two signals are exactly the same amplitude. The time for the electrical signals to travel can be ignored in comparison with the time for the sound to travel through air. Adjust the Channel 1 and Channel 2 volts/division knobs on the oscilloscope so that the two signals are nearly three divisions in height (peak-to-peak). (You may have to fiddle with the little "cal" knobs in the middle of the bigger knobs.) Above the channel 2 knob there is an ADD-ALT-CHOP switch that you should move to the ADD position. Now the oscilloscope displays the sum of the direct signal and the signal that has gone through the air. Move the glider with your hand and notice the change in amplitude of the summed signals. Switch briefly back to the ALT or CHOP position to see the signals move from in phase to out of phase. Return to the ADD position and measure with a ruler the distance that you must move the glider to pass through 10 to 20 maxima or minima. Divide this distance by the number of maxima or minima to determine the wavelength from interferometry λ int. What is δλ int? How does it compare with the wavelength λ o that you calculated in Part 3? Calculate the difference between the two measurements Δλ = λ int λ o and δδλ = [δλ int 2 + δλ o 2 ] 1/2.

8 M6.8 Guiding Questions: 1. What is the approximate frequency of the ultrasonic transmitter used in this experiment? What is the wavelength of sound at that frequency? (Assume Vsound = 340 m/sec). 2. (Counts as two questions) Four things are measured directly in this lab:, the distance between the photogates, f 0, the frequency of the source, Δt, the time for the glider to travel between the photogates, and f, the frequency at the receiver (trial i). Using Mathematica statements, show how to compute v, the speed of the glider (trial i), and v_sound, the speed of sound, from these measured quantities. 3. Show that eq n (6) follows from eq n (3). 4. Eq n (7) is an exact expression for, while eq n (8) is only approximate. Using, v = 0.30 m/s, and f o = 40.0 khz, compute using both equations (7) and (8). By how much do the two values differ? What is the fractional difference? (Since we want to compare the two values, display several digits for the two s, rather than rounding to significant figures.) 5. Sketch the graph of. What is the approximate slope of this graph? Give a algebraic expression and a numerical value for the slope. 6. How is it determined whether the air track is level? 7. Assume that the values of v sound, δv sound, f o, and δf o are known. Show how to compute, the uncertainty in the wavelength. 8. On Jan. 17, 1930, it was -33F (-36C) in Boulder, with an uncertainty of ±1 o C. What was the speed of sound outside on that day (include the uncertainty in the speed of sound)? 9. The air track in this experiment is 2 meters long. If the glider goes faster than 2 m/s, this experiment won t work, at least not with the existing equipment. Why not? [Hint: how is measured?] 10. When the source is receding from a stationary receiver and the speed of the source approaches the speed of sound, what happens to the Doppler shift Δf? What happens to Δf when the source is approaching a stationary receiver and its speed approaches the speed of sound.

9 M6.9 Pre-lab assignment for M6: The Doppler Effect. This prelab is designed to focus your attention on what is important in the lab before you start the experiment and give you a leg up on writing your report. Use this template when you write your report. 1. Carefully read the lab instructions for M2 2. Using Mathematica, set up a template for your lab report. This will include: I. Header information such as title, author, lab partner, and lab section: (to do this, In Mathematica, go to File, Print Settings, Header and Footer from this dialog box you can enter all of the required information.) Mathematica automatically enters the file name in the right side of the header. Leave this alone. II. Section Headings including Title, Summary of Experiment, Data and Calculations, Discussion of Uncertainty, and specific section headings for each part of the experiment. (All of the Physics 1140 lab manuals include multiple parts.) 3. Write a Summary of the experiment. What are you going to measure and what data will you collect to make the measurement? (For example, in part one of M1, you will measure the length of a pendulum along with the period of the pendulum to determine the acceleration due to gravity.) 4. For each part of the lab do the following: A.) In your Mathematica document, make a theory plot of Δf vs. v. Assume an initial frequency f 0 = 40,000 Hz and use the known value for the speed of sound at room temperature. Use equation (8) for inspiration. B.) For Part 2, make a theory plot of v sound vs. Temperature using equation (10) as inspiration. Below are some guidelines for this and every plot you make in C.) For Part 3, suppose your known frequency is (40, )Hz and the you find the velocity of sound is ( )m/sec. Calculate the wavelength and uncertainty in the wavelength of this sound wave. D.) For Part 4, suppose you move the cart through 17 maxima as described in the instructions. You find the cart traveled a total distance of ( )cm. Calculate the wavelength (and uncertainty) and see if it is consistent with the value for C.) above. I. Plot your theory or expectation as a line. (In Mathematica, you should define a function and plot it using the command Plot ) Reference the Mathematica tutorial to do this. II. Label your axes, in English (not just symbols) and with units.

10 M6.10 III. IV. Include a brief caption (namely, a text statement of what the plot shows.) Set the x and y range of the plot to be close to what you expect for your data. For example: in M1 your longest length pendulum should be no more than 130 cm in length. 5. Write a Discussion of Uncertainty. What are the major sources of uncertainty in the experiment and how will you account for them? 6. Turn in a printout of your Mathematica document that includes 2-5 above. This document should be no more than 2 pages long.

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