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Homework Help: Sound Waves Question

  1. Dec 7, 2004 #1
    A stationary motion detector sends sound waves of 0.700 MHz toward a truck approaching at a speed of 38.0 m/s. The speed of sound in the air is 343 m/s. What is the frequency of the waves reflected back to the detector?

    I tried doing F=f((v+vo)/(v)), which becomes F=.7MHz((343+38)/(343)), and this gives the wrong answer. Then I realized that something should be doubled becomes the waves are reflected twice, from the detector to truck and then from the truck to the detector, so I just double the answer I got previously and this is wrong. What am i doing wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2004 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    Homework Helper

    Since the objects are approaching, you have to use: [tex]f_{apparent} = f_{source} \frac{v_{sound}}{v_{sound} - v_{source}}[/tex]

    You then have to apply it again using the [itex]f_{apparent}[/itex] as the source frequency. The difference is not exactly doubled in doing this.

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