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I've read Wikipedia's entry on frame of reference and also followed all of the references cited in the text (Salençon, Brillouin, Norton, etc) but I'm struggling to find any concise definition in all of that.

I would like a concise definition for a frame of reference in the context of Newtonian mechanics. This definition should not involve any additional qualifiers such as inertial and must be mature enough as to differentiate a frame of reference and a coordinate system. Is there one such definition?

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  • $\begingroup$ I once saw this: "A frame in which Newton's laws are valid." Perhaps unsatisfying, but I think it works. $\endgroup$ – garyp Jul 15 at 17:47
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    $\begingroup$ "mature enough as to differentiate a frame of reference and a coordinate system" - I would seriously challenge the notion that there is a single universal way to make that distinction. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jul 15 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty Are you referring to the Newtonian spacetime only or GR as well? What is your take on this Q&A? physics.stackexchange.com/questions/458854/… $\endgroup$ – safesphere Jul 15 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/12221/… $\endgroup$ – safesphere Jul 15 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @garyp, there are also non-inertial frames of reference. $\endgroup$ – David White Jul 16 at 1:54

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