Doppler effect

1842 Doppler effect

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Christian Doppler physics Doppler effect

Doppler effect

Sans relativity


Christian Doppler described the effect in his treatise “Über das farbige Licht der Doppelsterne und einiger anderer Gestirne des Himmels—Versuch einer das Bradley’sche Aberrations-Theorem als integrirenden Theil in sich schliessenden allgemeineren Theorie” (On the coloured light of the binary stars and some other stars of the heavens—Attempt at a general theory including Bradley’s theorem as an integral part), which has a fairly descriptive title. He used the Doppler effect to explain the color of binary stars.

Doppler is not recognized as the father of relativity. Albert Einstein used the Doppler-shift factor to help establish the equivalence of mass and energy in 1905 and reformulated the Doppler effect to account for the time dilation effect of the special theory of relativity.

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