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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
329 views

Inertia in an empty universe

I was reading a recent article on Mach's Principle. In it, the author talks about inertia in an empty universe. I'll quote some lines from the article: Imagine a single body in an otherwise empty ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

What's the deal with the gyroscope?

In this article ("The problem with physics", Tony Rothman, ABC science) the author says in the 5$^\textrm{th}$ paragraph: For example, one needs only first-semester equations to describe ...