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Biophysics For Dummies by Ken Vos

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Chapter 15

Listening to Sound — Doppler Effect, Echolocation, and Imaging

In This Chapter

arrow Dancing with Doppler

arrow Finding the range of echolocation

arrow Sounding the inside with ultrasound

Sound is one of the main methods animals use to interact with their surroundings and allows the animals to understand what is going on around them, especially nocturnal animals. Animals use sound for communication, navigation, and tracking. These applications of sound make the understanding of sound and its applications an important field within biophysics.

This chapter discusses some very interesting applications of sound waves, including the Doppler Effect, the echolocation technique, and ultrasound imaging.

Forecasting with the Doppler Effect

The Doppler Effect is the name given to the phenomenon of the frequency of a wave changing when the source of the wave or the observer is in motion. Imagine you’re at the beach. If you’re just standing in the water, the crests of waves will hit you with some frequency, but if you’re walking into the waves, they’ll hit you at a faster rate. Many fields of science including biophysics use the Doppler Effect; even some animals have evolved to take advantage of ...

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