Lesson Plan: Doppler Shift Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to explain the effect of the motion of the sources and the observers of waves on the measured frequencies of the waves.


Students will be able to

  • qualitatively describe how the time intervals between successive wave fronts arriving at a point, emitted from a circularly propagating sound wave from a moving source, vary depending on the velocity of the source relative to the point,
  • describe how changes in time intervals between successive wave fronts of a sound wave arrive at a point correspond to the observed frequency of the sound at that point,
  • calculate the change in the time interval between the observation of successive wave fronts as measured at a wave source and as measured by an observer due to the one-dimensional motion of the source or the observer.


Students should already be familiar with

  • the formula wave speed = frequency × wavelength.


Students will not cover

  • a formula of complexity comparable to 𝑓=𝑣+𝑣𝑣+𝑣𝑓observerobserversourcesource.

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