Lesson Plan: The Relativistic Doppler Effect Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to calculate the change in the frequency and wavelength of electromagnetic radiation due to relative motion of the source and observer.


Students will be able to

  • use 𝑓=𝑓1𝛽1+𝛽 in all permutations,
  • use 𝜆=𝜆1+𝛽1𝛽 in all permutations,
  • interpret graphs of 𝑓𝑓 against 𝛽,
  • interpret graphs of 𝜆𝜆 against 𝛽.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the Doppler effect,
  • spectra, emission, and absorption lines,
  • redshift and blueshift.


Students will not cover

  • the effects of cosmological redshift,
  • the effects of gravitational redshift.

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