Everyday relativity and the Doppler effect

Samuel Picton Drake, Alan Purvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally believed that special relativistic effects are important only when studying objects moving at speeds close to that of light. This belief leaves many practicing scientists and engineers with the impression that an understanding of relativity is not necessary for their day jobs. Our aim is to show that the ideas and mathematics of the special theory of relativity are used in practical applications involving objects moving much slower than the speed of light. In particular, we show how the Doppler shift for sound and light can be calculated from the postulates of relativity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-29
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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