Between relativistic and classical wave regimes, newly discovered memory effect alters the Doppler wave signature
Wave scattering appears practically everywhere in everyday life—from conversations across rooms, to ocean waves breaking on a shore, from colorful sunsets, to radar waves reflecting from aircraft. Scattering phenomena also appear in realms as diverse as quantum mechanics and gravitation. According to Pavel Ginzburg, professor at Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering, these phenomena become especially interesting when the waves in question encounter a moving object.
The everyday Doppler effect is familiar—witnessed as the audible shift in pitch that occurs, for example, as a fire engine’s siren approaches, passes, and recedes. The idea that the observed frequency of a wave depends on the relative speed of the source and the observer, a popularized aspect of Einstein’s theory of relativity, entails cosmic implications for the Doppler effect, particularly for light waves. Now, it appears that