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Doppler Effect of a 1-kilohertz sound

  1. Jun 19, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A source of 1-kilohertz sound is moving straight toward you at a speed .9 times the speed of sound. The frequency you receive is:

    2. Relevant equations

    [tex] \nu = \frac{v}{\lambda} [/tex]

    [tex] f' = \frac{v + v'}{v} f [/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    When I attempt the solution I get [tex] f' = \frac{v + .9v}{v} f = 1.9 f [/tex]. However, that is not correct. The answer is 10 f. What am I missing?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2008 #2


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    Your sign on the relative velocity probably. You could also work on the algebra that let you change f'=1.9*f into f=1.9*f'. That doesn't seem right either.
  4. Jun 20, 2008 #3
    Well, the source is moving toward you. So the direction of the sound and the source should have the same sign. I dont know. I am missing something small I am sure, because this is a GRE question so it shouldn't take long to solve.
  5. Jun 20, 2008 #4


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    The formula I've got is f'=f*v/(v+vr). f' is observed frequency, f is emitted frequency. vr is radial component of source velocity. v is speed of sound. If it's moving towards you, you want an increase in frequency. That mean vr should be negative to make numerator larger than denominator.
  6. Jun 20, 2008 #5
    Ok, thx. The formula I was using seems to be for a moving listener not a moving source.

    I see how you justify making the vr negative. However it still seems odd since vr and v are going in the same direction, know what I mean?
  7. Jun 20, 2008 #6


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    v is the speed of sound. It's isn't going in any particular direction. vr is coming towards you. Apparently according to the conventions of that formula that makes vr negative.
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