Teaching the Doppler effect in astrophysics

Hughes, Stephen W. and Cowley, Michael (2017) Teaching the Doppler effect in astrophysics. European Journal of Physics, 38 (2). ISSN 1361-6404

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The Doppler effect is a shift in the frequency of waves emitted from an object moving relative to the observer. By observing and analysing the Doppler shift in electromagnetic waves from astronomical objects, astronomers gain greater insight into the structure and operation of our Universe. In this paper, a simple technique is described for teaching the basics of the Doppler effect to undergraduate astrophysics students using acoustic waves. An advantage of the technique is that it produces a visual representation of the acoustic Doppler shift. The equipment comprises a 40 kHz acoustic transmitter and a microphone. The sound is bounced off a computer fan and the signal collected by a DrDAQ ADC and processed by a spectrum analyser. Widening of the spectrum is observed as the fan power supply potential is increased from 4 to 12 V.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Newsletter Reports Resources
Depositing User: Mr Saeed Salimpour
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2018 14:43
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2018 00:02
URI: http://istardb.org/id/eprint/2029

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