A specific reference frame that describes its coordinates in a manner that does not depend on time and is isotropic.

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In special relativity, is it correct to say the speed of a body B relative to A is the same as measured by every observer?

Here, two objects A and B are moving relative to each other. I use the Einstein velocity addition formula $v = {v_1 + v_2\over 1 + {v_1 v_2\over c^2}}$ to calculate the relative speed between A and ...
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4answers
75 views

Sun and planets orbit each other

Do not the planets and the Sun revolve in orbits around each other and the shape of the orbit depends on where the center of gravity of the system is? The greater the mass of the Sun, the closer the ...
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165 views

Drift Speed and Current in Two Different Inertial Frames

We have a long, cylindrical wire carrying a constant current I in an inertial frame. At a distance of R from the center of the wire, the magnitude of magnetic field is $μI/2πR$. What is the magnitude ...
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1k views

Kepler problem in time: how do two gravitationally attracted particles move?

Two particles with initial positions and velocities $r_1,v_1$ and $r_2,v_2$ are interacting by the inverse square law (with G=1), so that $$ {d^2r_1\over dt^2} = - { m_2(r_1-r_2)\over |r_1-r_2|^3} $$ ...
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41 views

Two Bodies Orbiting Around Each Other and Kepler’s Laws?

If two bodies are orbiting around a central center of gravity, how does Kepler’s first law (the one regarding the ellipse) apply?
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74 views

Comparing the orbit radius of two spherical objects [duplicate]

Assume the mass of star 2 is 4 times the mass of star 1. Compare the radius of the orbit of star 1 to that of star 2. Possible answers: R1:R2=1:4 R1:R2=1:2 R1:R2=2:1 R1:R2=4:1 R1:R2=16:1 ...
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1answer
559 views

Moment of inertia of rotating particles in center of mass frame?

I am trying to simulate a collision between two molecules. I know the energy for every position/orientation, from which I can calculate the forces. The treatment is classical and the molecules are ...
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41 views

Space and time variant? But together invariant?

I admit I'm having difficulty with spacetime. I don't understand how unifying space and time, seemingly variant quantities, results in an invariant spacetime. All texts and references talk about using ...
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1answer
70 views

Galilean Relativity is already included in Newton's Laws?

Usually I see an inertial reference frame being defined as a reference frame in which Newton's first and second laws holds. That means that if a particle is at rest, it stays at rest unless some ...
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1answer
50 views

Why doesn't an airplane simply go up in the air and stay there?

To get where a plane wants to go for example if I wanted to go from California to Japan, why can't an airplane simply stay up in the sky and let the earth rotate underneath it? Is it the ...
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50 views

Relativity asymmetry?

If you have two bodies that move towards each other at a constant velocity, each body will observe the other body experience time faster. This does not make sense to me because if you had a person ...
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1answer
68 views

Proving the conservation of 4-momentum for a particle collision $A+B\to C+D$

Let me say that particle A hits particle B and two particles come out - C and D; In system S I can write: $$p_A^μ+p_B^μ=p_C^μ+p_D^μ;\tag{1}$$ here $p_N^μ$ is the 4-momentum. Using the Lorentz ...
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3answers
79 views

How does an electromagnetic field oscillate if time does not pass for the speed of light?

As far as I'm aware, traveling at $c$ will prevent time passing due to time dilation. Electromagnetic waves rely upon oscillations to propagate. Since oscillations rely upon the passing of time, how ...
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1answer
92 views

About the relativistic wagon simultaneity problem [closed]

I'm getting utterly confused with this problem. The situation is basically to know what events to take in one frame in order to see them synchronized in another. I sketched the situation as this: ...
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2answers
73 views

Deriving the equations for a moving inertial reference frame [closed]

I assume $c=1$ in the following derivation: In order to derive the equations for a moving inertial reference frame, I immediately wrote down the following: $$ x'=Ax+Bt, \tag{1}$$ $$t'= Dx+Et. ...
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3answers
118 views

Does the Earth revolve around the Sun?

I am aware of this Phys.SE question: Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun? but I don't think this is a duplicate. In a binary star system, where the masses of the 2 stars are not so ...
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4answers
382 views

What is the universal speed limit relative to? [duplicate]

If all speeds are relative, then what "governing" force is that speed limit relative to? Is there some sort of fixed or absolute grid with locations everything is compared to? Does this also mean ...
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2answers
3k views

Deriving the Lagrangian for a free particle

I'm a newbie in physics. Sorry, if the following questions are dumb. I began reading "Mechanics" by Landau and Lifshitz recently and hit a few roadblocks right away. Proving that a free particle ...
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1answer
25 views

Who is moving and with who's relation?

What if we are in a cube of 3×3 m  which is further enclosed in a sphere of radius 50 m? And the sphere start to rotate on its own axis would we experience force? If not then what happens if there is ...
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1answer
91 views

Elastic Collisions and Relative Velocities

In a 1D elastic collision, it is well-known that the relative velocities of the two objects (before and after the collision) are reversed. What is the extension of this result to 2D or higher? Is ...
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1answer
65 views

Inertial and Non-inertial frames of reference

I'm really beginner in physics and I recently started to study the concept of frames of reference, inertial and non-inertial ones. In the end, I thought I had understood it: frames of reference ...
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1answer
61 views

Confusion about Weinberg's discussion of equivalence principle. Help understanding formula

I am reading Steven Weinberg's book Gravitation and Cosmology. On pages 67-68, he begins his discussion of the Principle of Equivalence of Gravitation and Indertia by saying the following: The ...
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5answers
314 views

Is the polar coordinate system non-inertial or inertial?

Consider a car driving around in a circle lying in the plane and suppose we were interested in determining its acceleration as measured by an observer stationary on the "ground" or whatever. ...
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7answers
360 views

What does the statement “the laws of physics are invariant” mean?

In the first paragraph of Wikipedia's article on special relativity, it states one of the assumptions of special relativity is the laws of physics are invariant (i.e., identical) in all inertial ...
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38 views

Forward and Behind Frames of Reference

It's my understanding that light travels at the same speed in all inertial frames of reference. Suppose there's a small train car 5 feet long (at our rest point of view) traveling at a constant speed ...
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1answer
81 views

Uniqueness of the equivalence class of inertial frames

Let us define an inertial frame as a frame of reference where the laws of physics take their usual form, as opposed to non intertial frames where one has to introduce pseudo-forces. We can further ...
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4answers
95 views

Absolute (as opposed to relative) concept of inertial frame

In mechanics there is a relative concept of "inertial frame": frame A is inertial with respect to frame B if A moves uniformly with respect B. That concept is easy to understand. There also seems to ...
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If the solar system is a non-inertial frame, why can Newton's Laws predict motion?

Since there is no object in the universe that doesn't move, and the solar system likely accelerates through space, how did Newton's Laws work so well? Didn't he assume that the sun is the ...
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48 views

Does relativistic glider violate principle of equivalence?

The relativistic glider proposed can slow down the fall of an object in gravitational field. Will this violate the principle of equivalence which says that one cannot distinguish between free falling ...
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1answer
35 views

Time difference between two moving inertial frames of reference [closed]

This is a question I am trying to solve: Let S and S' be two inertial frames of reference and S' is moving relative to S at a velocity of 0.6c. When x = x' = 0, t = t' = 0. At t = 2 x 10-7 s, an ...
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43 views

Galilean and Lorentz Covariance in Julian Schwinger's book Electrodynamics

In the book Electrodynamics (pp. 8-11) Julian Schwinger "derives" (in this special case) the complete Maxwell equations from the Coulomb potential using only the Galilean transformation $$ ...
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154 views

Why does the Michleson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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264 views

3 inertial frames compared in STR

Suppose an event is observed in 3 inertial frames K, K' and K''. The coordinates in K are $(x,t)$ in K' are $(x',t')$ in K'' are $(x'',t'')$. The K' and K'' coordinates are then Lorentz-transformed to ...
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4answers
92 views

Which one is inertial frame?

I'd like to ask a question which made me confused. I think that, e.g., a man falling to earth could think himself as stationary and the Earth as accelerating towards him. But I, as an observer, I ...
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3answers
374 views

Newton's First Law of Motion; Empirical Aspects

Newton's first law states that in an inertial frame, a body at rest continues to be at rest, and a body in constant rectilinear motion continues its motion, unless an external force is applied upon ...
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3answers
280 views

Why is Newton's first law necessary?

Newton's second law says $F=ma$. Now if we put $F=0$ we get $a=0$ which is Newton's first law. So why do we need Newton's first law ? Before asking I did some searching and I got this: Newtons first ...
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1answer
115 views

If reality is relative, then what about Newton's bucket argument?

There is nothing outside the universe. - Lee Smolin So, there can't be any absolute frame. Everything must be measured relative to an entity that exists in the universe. Thus, space ...
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5answers
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Newton's Bucket

Newton's Bucket This thought experiment is originally due to Sir Isaac Newton. We have a sphere of water floating freely in an opaque box in intergalactic space, held together by surface tension and ...
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Why does rotation simulate gravity if motion is relative?

In Einstein's theory of relativity, if motion is truly relative, then why would somebody in a rotating space station experience (artificial) gravity? I mean, I get why they experience gravity IF the ...
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1answer
35 views

Specific scenario involving rotation and inertial frames of reference?

We recently went over some rotational motion in my freshman physics class, I had a question for the professor on your frame of reference, and how that would effect the rotation of the object. Say you ...
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77 views

Relative acceleration: frame of references

There is a question I've been struggling with, and I ask for your help to understand it fully. Q: An inclined plane, fixed to the inside of an elevvator, makes a 32 degrees angle with the floor. A ...
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2answers
117 views

Who plays the role of centrifugal force in an inertial frame of reference?

It is noteworthy to quote a sentence from my book, It is a misconception among the beginners that centrifugal force acts on a particle in order to make the particle go on a circle. Centrifugal ...
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6answers
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Measuring speed of the moving train, if I'm inside it

So I am inside a coach in a train that is fully sealed (with no windows and a locked door). I have a torch, photo & time sensor and a scale with me. So, I place the sensor at one of the walls and ...
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Two referential frames. An ant is moving on a uniformly rotating disk and appears not to be moving relative to the disk [closed]

They want us to find the Coriolis and centripetal acceleration. My problem is drawing the referential. Because, there are 2 referential frames. The inertial one would be the disk right, with 3 axes, ...
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3answers
252 views

Why doesn't any object that doesn't have direct contact in a fast moving vehicle feel G-force or slam behind or ahead when braked or accelerated?

Why doesn't any object that doesn't have direct contact in a fast moving vehicle feel G-force or slam behind or ahead when braked or accelerated? For example when we are in a car (even with all ...
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5answers
2k views

Is acceleration relative?

A while back in my Dynamics & Relativity lectures my lecturer mentioned that an object need not be accelerating relative to anything - he said it makes sense for an object to just be accelerating. ...
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48 views

In the formula for the change of frame of reference, which term(s) is/are the centrifugal/centripetal acceleration?

This is the formula for the change of frame of reference for the acceleration: I have a book where it is written that: The first term is the absolute acceleration. The second term is the relative ...
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83 views

Does a mass gain inertia against movement in all directions as it approaches the speed of light?

If a mass moves along the x axis at near the speed of light, does it take as much energy to additionally accelerate the mass along the y axis as it does to accelerate it along the x axis by the same ...
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4answers
2k views

Second law of Newton for variable mass systems

Frequently I see the expression $$F = \frac{dp}{dt} = \frac{d}{dt}(mv) = \frac{dm}{dt}v + ma,$$ which can be applied to variable mass systems. But I'm wondering if this derivation is correct, ...
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5answers
2k views

What problems with Electromagnetism led Einstein to the Special Theory of Relativity?

I have often heard it said that several problems in the theory of electromagnetism as described by Maxwell's equations led Einstein to his theory of Special Relativity. What exactly were these ...