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The students should understand the observed frequency for sound waves and mechanical waves due to the Doppler effect as given by: moving source ƒ′ = ƒ (v/v±us) where us is the velocity of the source, moving observer ƒ′ = ƒ(v±uo/v) v where uo is the velocity of the observer.


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support this IB* topic.

Doppler Effect

Experiment #5 from Advanced Physics with Vernier — Beyond Mechanics

In this experiment, you will

  • Use video analysis of the waves produced by a stationary source to determine the frequency, wavelength, and velocity of the waves in water.
  • Perform similar analysis to determine the effect of a moving source on these quantities
  • Determine the shifted frequency an observer would detect as the source approaches or recedes.
  • Derive an expression relating the shifted frequency to the speed of the object and of the wave in the medium.

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB) 2025
C Wave behaviour
C.5 Doppler effect
Additional higher level

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.