Reverse Doppler

Ladies, and Gentlemen of the International Scientific Society, I present to you: the Reverse Doppler Effect.

No, not the Relppod Effect. That’s something completely different. Dr. Franz Gorgenstein Relppod’s theories are strictly relevant to the dental field.

The Reverse Doppler Effect is a sequence of connected tones shifting in pitch and amplitude to counteract the Doppler Effect.

I discovered this one day while enjoying my breakfast one morning at the Chateau Briand in Concord. I had just sat down and ordered my usual Salty Dog (Vodka and Grapefruit with a salted rim) when my peaceful morning came to a screeching halt with the dissonant whine of a passing ambulance siren. Needless to say I was perturbed, but as I fixated on the source of my disturbance, I began pondering the acoustic phenomenon of two objects in relative motion, one producing sound, and the other intercepting it.

As I’m sure physicists of your stature already know, Austrian physicist Christian Doppler first recognized and laid claim to the discovery of the effect in the mid-19th century.  He stated that a moving object emitting sound will seem to have compressed the soundwaves ahead of it (causing a relative rise in pitch) and decompress the soundwaves in its wake (creating a relatively lower pitch). To the mere observer attempting to enjoy his morning drink at the sidewalk cafe (B), the blaring ambulance (A) appears to bend sound itself. The obvious implications of proximity also presents a variation in volume over the event.

Three Salty Dogs later, I began to imagine if one were to simply take the effect not as a phenomenon or situational effect, but rather as the normal behavior of all sound, mobile or immobile. In such a scenario, the simple act of producing a static tone would be the phenomenon. I hopped up and bound home to research and hopefully discover (or rediscover) a static tone which would defy Doppler and all his sound-bending.

To create such a tone, one would need an object in motion which would begin at a distance with a low frequency and a high amplitude, pass the listening subject at a “normal” frequency and low amplitude, and then travel away from the listening subject at a high frequency and a high amplitude. Over the course of the event, the pitch would have to increase parabolically on approach and then plateau parabolically on departure. Meanwhile, the amplitude would simply have to decrease and increase parabolically over the course of the demonstration. To get repeated results, I had to create the sound by synthesizer, running on computer software. That part was simple. The real challenge was figuring out how to make the sound control constant on each test run so that the listening subject hears a constant tone no matter the distance of the object in motion.

It took me five years of research and workshopping, but I believe I have finally created the working prototype. I have built it out of speaker parts mounted upon a model train set. At the press of this remote control, the speaker-mounted electric train will speed from one end of the room to the other, tripping electrical triggers placed along the track at 5 centimeter intervals. The triggers are used as markers which convey positional information to this computer system on my left. The computer then communicates with the synthesizer on my right to create a tone which will be emitted from the moving speakers upon the train. Now, in order for the effect to work, you must be at the proper sonic focal point. That’s why I created this buckled harness you see here, bolted to the floor. One at a time, I will allow each of you to approach the device and place your head within the padded stirrups I have set up here. Once you are strapped in and give the ready, I will press the button on the remote I hold here in my hand.

Now, my lawyers have informed me that I must get your signature on paper before you experience my patented effect. I, myself have not tried it yet, for fear that my desire to achieve the intended result will ultimately taint my observations. My assistants, however, would personally vouch for your safety but, regretfully, none of them could be here tonight. They have all become… indisposed. Temporally. I mean, temporarily. Before you strap in, please be aware that you should not participate if you are averse to loud noises, soft noises, odd noises, claustrophobia, time travel, epilepsy, or heart disease.

Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow adventuresome scientific explorers. Who will be my first lucky volunteer?

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Reverse Doppler

  1. The Fan

    You really got me all wrapped up in this one. I couldn’t turn away. I had to know what was going to happen!

  2. Pingback: I’d Like To Thank All The Little, Little, Little People (Who Live In My Head And Tell Me To Do Things) | The Eternal Loop

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s