Return to Blog Homepage

MCAT Physics Question — Sound Properties

  • by John
  • Aug 11, 2014
  • MCAT Question of the Day

A passing ambulance at first has a higher pitched siren while approaching a stationary observer followed by a lower pitch as it drives away. Which property of the sound changes as it passes?

 

a) speed of sound traveling in the medium

b) perceived frequency

c) actual frequency

d) there is no change to any property of the sound

 

Explanation

The doppler effect manifests in a higher perceived frequency as a sound source approaches a detector and a lower perceived frequency as the source moves away from a detector.

doppler effect

a) speed of sound traveling in the medium, incorrect, The speed of sound does not change.

b) perceived frequency, correct.

c) actual frequency, incorrect, The actual frequency of the sound stays the same, while the perceived frequency is dependent on the velocity of the source relative to the detector.

d) there is no change to any property of the sound, incorrect, The perceived frequency changes per the doppler effect.

Want more MCAT practice?

We’ve got options for every schedule and learning style!

From the best online MCAT course created by top instructors with 524+ MCAT scores to the most representative full-length practice exams and private tutoring, we can custom tailor your MCAT prep to your goals!

Not sure which option is right for you? Schedule a free MCAT consultation with an MCAT expert using the form below. No obligation, just expert advice.

Submit a Comment