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Physics Principles with Applications
Found in: Page 328
Physics Principles with Applications

Physics Principles with Applications

Book edition 7th
Author(s) Douglas C. Giancoli
Pages 978 pages
ISBN 978-0321625922

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Short Answer

A noisy truck approaches you from behind a building. Initially you hear it but cannot see it. When it emerges and you do see it, its sound is suddenly “brighter”—you hear more of the high-frequency noise. Explain. [Hint: See Section 11–14 on diffraction.]

When the truck is behind the building, sound waves of a longer wavelength reach the person. As the truck starts coming ahead of the building, the wavelength of all frequencies is reaching to the ears.

Thus, as the truck appears, the higher frequency noise starts coming in.

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Step by Step Solution

Write the concept for the given probelm 

Long-wavelength waves are diffracted more than short-wavelength waves. So, the sound wave of longer wavelength and shorted frequency are audible than the sound wave of short wavelength.

Explanation for when a noisy truck approaches you from behind a building, initially, you hear it but cannot see it

The waves spread out as they travel, and when they encounter an obstacle, the larger wavelengths bend around the building almost as if they were not there. When the truck emerges from behind the building, the sound suddenly increases, and we hear more high-frequency noise because now, even the smaller wavelengths reach us in addition to the larger wavelengths, and hence high-frequency noise is heard.

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