# Student Exploration: Doppler Shift

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1 Grade 8 Science Mr. Oren Student Exploration: Doppler Shift From Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.) Have you ever heard a siren on a moving ambulance, fire truck, or police car? If so, what happens to the sound as the vehicle passes by? The change in the sound that you hear is called the. Gizmo Warm-up The Doppler Shift Gizmo demonstrates how the Doppler shift occurs. The Gizmo shows a vehicle that emits sound waves and an observer who will hear the sounds. 1. Click the PLAY SAMPLE button ( ). (Check that the Gizmo s sound and your computer s speakers are on.) What do you hear? 2. Click Play ( ) and observe the sound waves emitted from the moving car. Click Pause ( ) and compare the sound waves in front of and behind the car. What do you notice? 3. Use the Ruler to measure the wavelength, or the distance between the lines, of the waves in front of and behind the car. (Note: The red circles represent every thousandth wave.) Wavelength in front of car: Wavelength behind car: 4. Why do you think the waves in front of the car have a shorter wavelength than the waves behind the car?

2 Activity A: The Check that is set to 500 Hz and is set to 340 m/s, close to the actual speed of sound. Set to 0 m/s. Introduction: The pitch of a sound, or how high or low it is, is related to the frequency of the sound waves. The greater the number of sound waves passing by a point each second is, the higher the frequency and the pitch will be. The unit of frequency is the hertz. Question: What causes the? 1. Observe: With the car s velocity ( ) set to 0 m/s, click Play. Notice the sound waves moving away from the car in all directions. A. Increase the frequency of the sound waves by moving the slider to the right. How does this affect the spacing of the waves? When the wavelength of the waves is short, the sound will be high in pitch. B. Now decrease the frequency by moving the slider all the way to the left. How does this affect the spacing of the waves? Sound waves that are spaced far apart will produce a lower, deeper pitch. 2. Measure: Click Reset. Set the frequency ( ) to 1000 Hz. Change the velocity of the sound source ( ) to 200 m/s. (The car is now an airplane.) At upper right, turn on the Observed frequency checkbox. Drag the observer onto the road. Click Play, and then click Pause when the sound waves first reach the observer. A. What is the frequency of sound waves in front of the plane? B. Click Play, and then click Pause just after the plane has passed the observer. What is the frequency of sound waves behind the plane? 3. Summarize: Based on what you have learned, how will the sound that the observer hears change as the airplane passes by? Explain your answer.

3 Activity B: Faster than the speed of sound Set to 300 Hz. Check that is set to 340 m/s. Introduction: On October 14, 1947, the Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager became the first man to officially travel faster than the speed of sound in level flight. Modern fighter jets can fly nearly three times the speed of sound. Question: What happens when objects travel faster than the speed of sound? 1. Observe: Some jet planes can travel faster than the speed of sound. Place the observer below the road, and set the velocity of the plane ( ) to 500 m/s. Click Play. Observe for a while, and then click Pause. What do you notice? 2. Make a sketch: Click Reset. The red circles represent every thousandth sound wave. To see more waves, turn on Display additional waves. Click Play and observe. Sketch the sound waves in the diagram at right. 3. Infer: Think about what the observer would experience as the jet flew by. A. Describe what the observer would see and hear as the plane flew by. B. Supersonic aircraft produce a loud noise called a sonic boom. Look at the waves hitting the observer. Based on what you see, what causes a sonic boom? C. At major sporting events in America, a flight squadron such as the Blue Angels often flies over the stadium in a tight formation at supersonic speeds. Would spectators in the stands hear the jet planes first or see them first? Explain your reasoning.

4 Activity C: Measuring the frequency change Question: What factors affect the magnitude of the? 1. Observe: Using the Gizmo, try to determine how each factor (,, and ) affects the observed. Based on what you have observed, how will each of these actions affect the magnitude of the? A. Increasing the frequency of the sound ( ): B. Increasing the velocity of the source ( ): C. Increasing the speed of sound ( ): 2. Measure: Set to 500 Hz, to 200 m/s, and to 340 m/s. Turn on Observed frequency, and drag the observer into the middle of the road. A. Click Play, and then click Pause just before the airplane reaches the observer. What is the frequency observed by a person in front of the airplane? B. Click Play, and then click Pause just after the airplane has passed the observer. What is the frequency observed by a person behind the airplane? C. To measure the magnitude of the, divide the frequency of sound waves in front of the plane by the frequency behind the plane. What do you get? 3. Gather data: For each combination, measure the frequencies of the sound waves in front of and behind the moving sound source. Then divide the first number by the second number to calculate the magnitude. In the first experiment, find the effect of frequency magnitude (Activity C continued on next page)

5 Activity C (continued from previous page) Now gather data to determine the effect of the sound source velocity magnitude Finally, gather data to see the effect of the speed of sound. (Note: The speed of sound in Earth s atmosphere ranges from about 274 m/s to 355 m/s.) Analyze: Look carefully at the s for each experiment. A. What effect did increasing the frequency of the sound ( ) have on the magnitude of the? B. What effect did increasing the velocity of the sound source ( ) have on the magnitude of the? C. What effect did increasing the velocity of sound ( ) have on the magnitude of the? 5. Think and discuss: Why did the magnitude of the increase as the velocity of the sound source increased, but decreased as the velocity of sound increased? If possible, discuss your answers with your classmates and teacher.

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