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Doppler Effect Police Car Question

  • #1
A police car emitting a siren wail (400 Hz) is driving towards a fleeing suspect at v/35, where v is the speed of sound. The suspect is running away at v/55. What frequency does the suspect hear?
For this problem, I used the Doppler Effect equation, and got 419.361 as my answer. I used + on the top and - on the bottom. Do I need to switch the two?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Chi Meson
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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Since the suspect is going in the direction that is away from the sound source, you use a negative value for the observer speed. The source is moving in the direction toward the observer, so there is a positive source speed. That means you get (using the equation correctly):
f_observed = f*[v+(-vo)]/[v-(+vs)]

so there ends up being a - on both top and bottom. Did you follow that?
 
  • #3
Thanks, so the answer comes out to be 404.531 Hz?
 

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