# Tagged Questions

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

6answers
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### If I run along the aisle of a bus traveling at (almost) the speed of light, can I travel faster than the speed of light?

Let's say I fire a bus through space at (almost) the speed of light in vacuum. If I'm inside the bus (sitting on the back seat) and I run up the aisle of the bus toward the front, does that mean I'm ...
14answers
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### Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun?

In history we are taught that the Catholic Church was wrong, because the Sun does not move around the Earth, instead the Earth moves around the Sun. But then in physics we learn that movement is ...
1answer
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### Is Newton's first law something real or a mathematical formalism?

Why do objects always 'tend' to move in straight lines? How come, everytime I see a curved path that an object takes, I can always say that the object tends to move in a straight line over 'small' ...
7answers
9k views

### Is there any true inertial reference frame in the universe?

Is there any true inertial reference frame in the universe? Newton's first law states that an object at rest remains at rest, and an object performing uniform motion performs uniform motion, until ...
4answers
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### Why does Newton's third law exist even in non-inertial reference frames?

While reviewing Newton's laws of motion I came across the statement which says Newton's laws exist only in inertial reference frames except the third one. Why is it like that?
2answers
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### Earth-Centered Inertial (ECI) reference frame as approximate inertial frame of reference

In many practical applications, one can consider the Earth-Centered Inertial (ECI) reference frame approximately as an inertial reference system, though strictly speaking, it is non-inertial. Is ...
2answers
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### Argument for proving Earth-Centered Earth-Fixed (ECEF) reference frame is non-inertial

Today I heard an argument to prove that the Earth-Centered Earth-Fixed (ECEF) reference frame is non-inertial. It seriously doesn't make any sense to me but I also heard that same argument was made by ...
8answers
26k views

### Proof that the Earth rotates?

What is the proof, without leaving the Earth, and involving only basic physics, that the earth rotates around its axis? By basic physics I mean the physics that the early physicists must've used to ...
5answers
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### Hole-and-nail paradox in special relativity

Yesterday we started relativity on our physics class, and my professor taught us a few concepts. We did some examples on how things changed by looking them from different reference systems, and a ...
5answers
3k 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. ...
5answers
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### How does one determine an inertial frame?

How does one determine whether one is in an inertial frame? An inertial frame is one on which a particle with no force on it travels in a straight line. But how does one determine that no forces are ...
2answers
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### Fictitious forces confusion

I have a hard time understanding the subject of fictitious forces. Let's discuss a few examples: 1) I'm sitting inside a vehicle which is accelerating in a straight line. I feel like someone is ...
5answers
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### Twins Paradox - Does ageing depend on motion?

I am trying to understand the Twins Paradox (relativity) and its implications. Can we infer from the Twins Paradox that the ageing process (cell decay or other biological processes) depends on motion?...
3answers
358 views

### A question in Special Relativity

In books the equation for length contraction is derived by supposing that the velocity of the spacecraft is the same for both observers. So the question is that, is the velocity really the same for ...
2answers
558 views

### What is the highest speed time dilation has been tested?

What is the highest speed time dilation has been tested? How close to the Special Relativity prediction did it get?
2answers
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### Two sets of coordinates each in frames $O$ and $O'$ (Lorentz transformation)

Suppose inertia frame $O'$ is moving at velocity $v$ relative to inertia frame $O$. Let the coordinate systems of $O$ be denoted by $(x,y,z)$ and the corresponding one on $O'$ be denoted by \$(x',y',z')...
3answers
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### Flying a toy helicopter inside an accelerating train [duplicate]

Scenario: You ride in a train, you have this helicopter toy. The train is not yet running when you flew your helicopter on a constant altitude (say 1 meter above the train's floor). Question: What ...
2answers
414 views

### Is this an inertial frame of reference in relativistic context?

What I've learned from our special relativity lectures is that an inertial frame of reference in relativity is one that experiences no gravitational forces. Also, it is a frame where if a particle is ...
0answers
79 views

### 3-body system centre of mass

I have a three body system of point masses that represent mercury, earth and the sun. I want them to orbit about a common centre of mass, but I think the centre of mass will move. I need the centre of ...
10answers
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### What is the Earth truly rotating about/revolving around?

Earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun, the sun revolves around the galaxy, the galaxy is also moving. So Earth's net rotation as observed from a fixed inertial frame consists of all ...
7answers
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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 ...
5answers
3k 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 ...
3answers
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### Do we need inertial frames in Lagrangian mechanics?

Do Euler-Lagrange equations hold only for inertial systems? If yes, where is the point in the variational derivation from Hamilton's principle where we made that restriction? My question arose ...
2answers
965 views

### Does rest exist?

I initially thought that the concept of rest depended on an inertial frame of reference. So for example, if the Earth and everything on it were the only things in the universe, and the Earth was ...
6answers
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### Inertial Frames of Reference - Inertial vs. Accelerated Frames

According to Robert Resnick's book "Introduction to Special Relativity", a line states the following as the definition of an inertial frame of reference: "We define an inertial system as a frame of ...
7answers
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### 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 ...
2answers
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### Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and its relation to Inertial Frames

We know that the CMB is isotropic when viewed outside of the spinning and revolving earth. Is it homogeneous? Can we relate the CMB to an inertial frame in the Newtonian sense (in which space and ...
4answers
645 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 ...
3answers
177 views

### Coriolis force and conservation of angular momentum

I'm trying to understand the relations between the existance of Coriolis force and the conservation of angular momentum. I found this example on Morin, which confuses me. A carousel rotates ...