On March 11, Inmarsat, a London-based telecommunication company, contacted Malaysian government with key location information for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Inmarsat scientists measured MH370’s radar ping against “example” flights to narrow down the search. The more flights they looked at, the smaller their field became, until they were tracked to a remote section of the ocean near Perth.
The company used the ‘Doppler effect’ to find the area where plane crashed. You’re probably familiar with the Doppler effect… when you hear an ambulance pass by, the change in pitch is an example of the Doppler effect.
Watch this Physics teacher explain the Doppler effect and the effect of an object’s movement in relation to the sound waves produced by it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Uhiz0Tilk
Help students explore this real world concept with the Doppler Shift Advanced Gizmo. Students can investigate how the speed of the moving object is related to the magnitude of the Doppler shift.