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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

47
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
2k views

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 ...
15
votes
10answers
3k views

Is Mach's Principle Wrong?

This question was prompted by another question about a paper by Woodward (not mine). IMO Mach's principle is very problematic (?wrong) thinking. Mach was obviously influenced by Leibniz. Empty space ...
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
12
votes
13answers
2k views

What are the mechanics by which Time Dilation and Length Contraction occur?

What are the mechanics of time dilation and length contraction? Going beyond the mathematical equations involving light and the "speed limit of the universe", what is observed is merely a phenomenon ...
12
votes
5answers
679 views

The definition of an inertial reference frame in Einstein's relativity

I'm reading Sean Carroll's book on general relativity, and I have a question about the definition of an inertial reference frame. In the first chapter that's dedicated to special relativity, the ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

What does a frame of reference mean in terms of manifolds?

Because of my mathematical background, I've been finding it hard to relate the physics-talk I've been reading, with mathematical objects. In (say special) relativity, we have a Lorentzian manifold, ...
10
votes
12answers
4k views

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the speed of light vary in noninertial frames?

The speed of light is the same in all inertial frames. Does it change from a non-inertial frame to another? Can it be zero? If it is not constant in non-inertial frames, is it still bounded from ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

What determines which frames are inertial frames?

I understand that you can (in principle) measure whether "free particles" (no forces) experience accelerations in order to tell whether a frame is inertial. But fundamentally, what determines which ...
6
votes
3answers
234 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
282 views

Is General Relativity applicable for all coordinate systems?

My understanding was that relativistic physics can be expressed in any inertial coordinate system, but not arbitrary systems. That is, no experiment can determine if we are "still" or "moving" at a ...
4
votes
3answers
124 views

Do bullet/gun physics change if the gun is traveling very fast?

If I'm running at say $400\: \mathrm{m/s}$ and a bullet travels at $400\: \mathrm{m/s}$ and I fire the gun, will I see the bullet leave the barrel? I either see it stay in the barrel floating ...
4
votes
4answers
148 views

When we talk about speeds in relativity theory, where are they measured?

I recently asked a question here about if the direction we travel matters in relativity theory: Does it matter in which direction I travel in relativity theory? After I got answers and making more ...
4
votes
3answers
169 views

In what subfields and how far can the naive limit $c\rightarrow\infty$ of special relativity be carried?

Even if many interesting similarities between the classical and the quantum mechanical framework have been worked out, e.g. in the subject of deformation quantization, in general, there are some ...
4
votes
2answers
476 views

What is the inertial frame that explains the Foucault Pendulum?

I know that the Foucault pendulum rotation in relation to Earth is a proof that the object is inertial in relation to the distant stars. But what makes them more important than the Earth? Are they an ...
4
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
494 views

What is the formal definition of a stellar day?

I'm having trouble understanding precisely what a stellar day is. Neither the USNO nor the IERS sites provide a definition. And Wikipedia's description as the "rotation period relative to the fixed ...
4
votes
2answers
553 views

Can an “absolute” frame of reference be determined by measuring the compression of light?

General relativity tells us that there is no absolute frame of reference (actually, it tells us that all frames are relative, which is close but not the same as there is no absolute frame). Special ...
4
votes
3answers
263 views

Does the Relativity Principle of Special Relativity imply homogeneity and isotropy of all the reference frames?

In Rindler's book: Relativity, Special, General and Cosmological, is stated on page 40 that the Relativity Principle (RP), when applied to just one Inertial Frame (IF), guarantees the homogeneity and ...
4
votes
2answers
458 views

Landau's ambiguous statement about the existence of inertial frames

Landau writes "It is found, however, that a frame of reference can always be chosen in which space is homogeneous and isotropic and time is homogeneous." Does he mean that we can prove the existence ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

Is momentum conservation for the classical Schrödinger equation due to non-relativistic or due to some more exotic invariance?

I had no problem appliying the Neothers theorem for translations to the non-relativistic Schrödinger equation $\mathrm i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\psi(\mathbf{r},t) \;=\; \left(- ...
3
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
433 views

The form of Lagrangian for a free particle

I've just registred here, and I'm very glad that finally I have found such a place for questions. I have small question about Classical Mechanics, Lagrangian of a free particle. I just read Deriving ...
3
votes
5answers
177 views

Will a warm body naturally slowdown?

Suppose a warm body moving in an empty space with high speed. The body emits radiation based on its temperature. The protons emitted forwards of the body will have higher energy due to Doppler shift ...
3
votes
2answers
308 views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
705 views

How fictitious are fictitious forces?

How fictitious are fictitious forces? More specifically, in a rotating reference frame i.e. on the surface of the earth does an object that is 'stationary' and in contract with the ground feel ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Does action really have to be Lorentz-invariant in SR?

From Landau & Lifshitz The Classical Theory Of Fields it is said: To determine the action integral for a free material particle (a particle not under the influence of any external force), we ...
3
votes
1answer
241 views

Why can we use just one angular velocity vector to describe the rotation of a whole non-inertial reference frame?

The other day in class the professor was explaining non-inertial reference frames. We were working out how to find the acceleration of a point as measured from the non-inertial reference frame, and ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Inertial Frames in Special Relativity

According to the postulates of special relativity, all inertial frames are equal in all respects. Then how does it follow from this, that the space is isotropic and homogenous for an inertial frame ...
3
votes
3answers
806 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
443 views

Problem with convergent geodesics at 2D sphere

There is a chapter on general relativity in the book Spacetime Physics Introduction To Special Relativity by Taylor and Wheeler, which qualitatively explains how attractive gravitational force can be ...
2
votes
3answers
332 views

The two faces of $F = m*a$

As I have understood, $F(t)=m \cdot a(t)$ can have 2 different meanings: When applying an external force $F$ on a point mass of mass $m$, the resulting acceleration of that mass at time $t$ is ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
759 views

pendulum is a inertial frame of reference or non inertial frame of reference? [closed]

Example of pendulum is inertial frame of reference or non inertial frame of reference? because if pendulum starts moving its continuously moves without changing there period of time but is changes its ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

How does Newton's first law asserts the existence of inertial frames? [duplicate]

Recently I've seem here one answer telling that Newton's first law really assures the existence of inertial reference frames. But how is that? I really can't see it. As I know, Newton's first law ...
2
votes
2answers
318 views

Foucault pendulum

The equations of motions for a Foucault pendulum are given by: $$\ddot{x} = 2\omega \sin\lambda \dot{y} - \frac{g}{L}x,$$ $$\ddot{y} = -2\omega \sin\lambda \dot{x} - \frac{g}{L}y.$$ What are the ...
2
votes
2answers
599 views

Galilean transformation in relativity

Assume flat spacetime in a general relativistic framework (or special relativity for that matter) and two observers $A$ and $B$, with non-vanishing velocity relative to each other. We know that they ...
2
votes
1answer
314 views

What happens to speed and frequency of a light beam moving in transparent medium when observed from different inertial frame of reference?

Suppose a transparent medium where speed of light is $c/n$, an inertial frame of reference $K$ which is stationary relatively to the medium and an inertial frame of reference $K'$ which is moving ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Galilean relativity in projectile motion

Consider a reference frame $S^'$ moving in the initial direction of motion of a projectile launched at time, $t=0$. In the frame $S$ the projectile motion is: $$x=u(cos\theta)t$$ ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
369 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

From the Poincare group to Minkowski space

In special relativity one assume that spacetime can be locally described by 4 coordinates, so it makes sense to model it as a 4-dimensional manifold. I had the impression that it is assumed that ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

does a rotating moving body in “flat” space curve its path because of frame dragging?

I am not a physicist. let's say we have a space with an object in it, where all other gravitational bodies are so far away that their affect on the shape of the space is negligible. let's say the ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Reality error and relative velocity

Suppose a person is walking in rain carrying an umbrella. He is tilting his umbrella at some angle with the vertical so as to protect himself from the rain. But a neutral observer who is standing ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views
1
vote
2answers
484 views

Using Lorentz Invariance of Charge To Calculate Current Density

I'm attempting a problem from Zwiebach: A First Course in String Theory and am completely stuck. Could anyone give me a hint? The problem is as follows. Consider $S$, $S'$ two Lorentz frames with ...
1
vote
4answers
297 views

Freefall in/out of an enclosed environment

I've just been learning about Einstein, relativity, and the equivalence principle in Physics. I'm fascinated with the idea of being inside a free-falling enclosed environment (such as, e.g., rocket, ...