Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by ADMIN-TOM
Here’s a question for you, dear reader. What’s the relationship between a human leg, a star in the night sky and a speeding railway train.
“There is no relationship,” I hear somebody shout.
Well, whoever said that, and I suspect there were several of you, you are wrong. There is a direct link between our star in the night sky, our speeding train and our human leg. In particular, my human leg. The left one, in fact.
I have a problem with my left leg which goes back to breaking seven ribs four years ago. At the time my left leg became inflamed and my doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug. That seemed to work, but then came the pandemic and not long after that I became ill with cancer. My leg remained inflamed and it still is. However, my doc has finally agreed I needed an ultrasound scan to see if there’s a problem with veins or arteries.
Enter, stage left, Christian Doppler, a 19th-century physicist who discovered a way to measure sound waves reflected from moving objects. This is known as the Doppler effect. The Doppler ultrasound is named after Christian Doppler.
The Doppler effect, is the apparent difference between the frequency at which sound or light waves leave a source and that at which they reach an observer. This is caused by relative motion of the observer and the wave.
In the space of a mere week, I have now been checked out for my veins and arteries, all of which, I’m glad to say are fine. And at the same time I’ve learned that if you stand and observe a speeding train, the sound will change… which I already knew having once been a dorky trainspotter for all of six weeks! The same thing applies to stars, apparently, though in their case you get what’s called the red-shift. If you want a better explanation, got to ESA’s (European Space Agency) website, here, and see what they say.
So there you have it. Doppler is the thing that links a human leg, a star in the night sky and a speeding railway train.
Oh, and my leg? It turns out I have a bacterial infection in my leg (thank you cancer) because my immune system has been compromised by the chemotherapy. Anti-biotics should fix it.
At least once I’m better, I can look forward to one day travelling the stars to observe the Doppler effect… or maybe more likely standing on a railway station and listening to the Doppler effect before being blown over by the speeding train!
Eat your heart out Daniel Day-Lewis. You may have got an Oscar for My Left Foot. But I got a Doppler for My Left Leg.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2023
The Brittle Sea – Free Historical Fiction eBook
The fateful journey of the Titanic sets off a chain of events that will leave a legacy of treachery, deceit and heartbreak.
Magda Asparov travels from Ukraine, oblivious to the danger she is sailing into when she boards the Titanic to sail to a new and rich life. With an arranged marriage to Matthew Turner, a corrupt wealthy American businessman, waiting for her in America, and a manipulative independent spirit, Magda knew what her destiny would be.
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