PHYS 101 Essay #1

PHYS 101 Essay #1 - teaching physics there are other common...

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9/18/07 PHYS 101-02 Describe how physics learns about the universe. What tools does it have? The way in which the science of physics best learns about the universe is without a doubt through the ability to measure, or concept of measurement. By acquiring this skill, anyone, not only scientists, can much more easily understand many things in nature. There are many different ways that the ability to measure can be utilized, but one of the best is what is called the Doppler Effect. Named after physicist Christian Doppler, this effect he is credited for discovering has been utilized a great deal for various reasons. First of all, it has helped us to understand the depth and movement of sound. Specifically, a sound’s elevation in pitch while in motion towards something is caused by an alteration in sound wave frequency [1]. There is more to it than this, however. By measuring the rate of change of the pitch, the speed of the object carrying the pitch could be determined [1]. Though the example of pitch is the most frequently used when
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Unformatted text preview: teaching physics, there are other common usages of Doppler that may fly “under the radar”. Another usage of the Doppler Effect comes from a vital weather tool, the Doppler radar. All weather radars use radio waves to create an image designed to show where and how hard rain is falling. The Doppler radar, however, takes this concept a step further, as it also measures the frequency change in these radio waves [2]. As a result, you not only see precipitation, but also wind speed and direction. Not only does this allow us to understand what is happening in the weather at that moment, but it gives us a great tool to predict what might happen concerning the weather in the near future. Doppler is just one example of how the ability to measure has revolutionized our knowledge of the universe through the use of physics. References: [1] [2]
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PHYS 101 Essay #1 - teaching physics there are other common...

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