Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne police radar detectors
Name: N/A
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
I have a question regarding the working of police radar detectors. Specifically, how exactly do they work? I understand how they could be used to determine a vehicle's distance, and thus to determine relative speed, but how, for instance, is it used successfully at an angle, especially when the angle is not known. Or, for that matter, from a perpendicular perspective.



Replies:
Police radar measures relative speeds not distance (unlike regular radars which usually measure distance and direction). If the police car is moving, its speed is taken into account. I believe they are only used to measure approaching and receding speeds (they cannot take into account angles other than 0 or 180 degrees)

John Hawley


Well, if they measured from an angle different from 180 degrees they would get a smaller number for the speed, so if that was still over the speed limit, your real speed must have been way over the limit.

Arthur Smith



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory