# Questions tagged [inertia]

Inertia is the tendency of a body to oppose changes to its state of motion. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for moment-of-inertia!

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### Couldn't we always redefine units so that inertial mass and gravitational mass are equal?

It is a known fact that inertial and gravitational masses are the same thing, and therefore are numerically equal. This is not an obvious thing, since there are even experiments trying to find a ...
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### Why does a bowling ball roll down faster on a slope than a tennis ball, yet both hits the ground at the same time if they're dropped from the rooftop? [closed]

If a tennis ball and a bowling ball are dropped of a rooftop, they hit the ground at the same time. But if they are rolled down a slope, the bowling ball rolls faster. Why?
5answers
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### How would I move if I grew by a factor of 3 in each physical dimension?

Suppose, for the sake of this thought experiment, I am structurally identical to an average human, with the only difference being that my body is scaled in all directions by factor of 3. This would ...
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### How does a mobile phone vibrate without any external force?

How does a mobile phone vibrate without any external force? By Newton's law, any body can't move without any external force
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### What causes a rotating object to rotate forever without external force—inertia, or something else?

Someone told me that it is not inertia, but I think it is inertia, because it will rotate forever. In my understanding, inertia is the constant motion of an object without external force. Am I wrong?
4answers
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### Is there a fundamental reason why gravitational mass is the same as inertial mass?

The principle of equivalence - that, locally, you can't distinguish between a uniform gravitational field and a non-inertial frame accelerating in the sense opposite to the gravitational field - is ...
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### Does a box containing photons have more inertia than an empty box?

A box containing photons gravitates more strongly than an empty box, and thus the equivalence principle dictates that a box containing photons has more inertia than an empty box. The inescapable ...
8answers
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### Inertia Vs Momentum

At my recent lesson on kinematics, my teacher taught about inertia and momentum. This is what she said. Inertia: a characteristic of an object that resists changes to its state of motion. Momentum: ...
3answers
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### How Is the Inertial Mass Different From the Gravitational Mass? [duplicate]

I recently read that the mass that we deal with in the equation $F=M_{i}a$ is called the inertial mass and the mass that we deal with in $F=M_{g}g$ is called the gravitational mass. I find a hard ...
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### Could an asteroid land slowly on Earth's surface?

The concept in my mind is that an asteroid is on a vector similar to Earth's, but slightly slower (e.g., 50kmh slower). As Earth passes it, it enters the atmosphere at a sharp angle, and since Earth ...
3answers
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### Does Unruh Radiation replace the cosmic horizon radiation?

A recent paper, titled Inertia from an Asymmetric Casimir Effect, discusses the universal horizons relative to an accelerating observer (Rindler space). A figure it used to demonstrate its point ...
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### How does liquid in a ball affect its rotational acceleration down a ramp?

Suppose we have a shell with mass $M$ and radius $R$. If we let that roll without slipping down a ramp of angle theta to the horizontal, we can easily find the acceleration of the shell the instant ...
9answers
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### Is there still no known origin of the law of inertia?

To quote Feynman at about the 21 minute mark of the first Messenger Lecture on The Character of Physical Law, ...that the motion to keep it going in a straight line has no known reason. The reason ...
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### Does a truck stop faster if the stack on the back of truck is stable or if it moves forward?

My question in the title might not be very descriptive so I am re-writing it here: If there is a truck in motion and it has stack of hay (lets suppose) on the back. Now if the truck comes to a sudden ...
11answers
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### Why is centrifugal 'force' perpendicular to line of inertia

I know that centrifugal is labeled a fictitious force only arising in a rotating reference frame, but I still struggle to understand the forces at play intuitively in tethered rotating bodies. I've ...
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### Inertia on a rotating disc?

If I toss a ball upwards in a train moving with uniform velocity, the ball will land right back in my hand. This is because the ball has inertia and it continues to move forward at the speed of train ...
2answers
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### Bidirectional jerk motion on a stopping vehicle

A stopping vehicle (say a car) has an apparent retardation (which may/may not be constant in magnitude) when force via brakes is applied. I travel by subway trains, and I noticed an odd phenomenon. ...
4answers
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### What is the relationship between gravity and inertia?

What is the relationship between Gravity and Inertia? Einstein told us that gravity and inertia are identical. And from the fact that two different masses fall at the same rate, I believe we can say ...
2answers
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### Would a sneeze by a cosmonaut in a spacesuit affect his movement?

Naive question; feel free to shoot me down It is a truism that any motion in space would continue indefinitely unless it is opposed by an external force. If a cosmonaut were to sneeze within his/her ...
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### Why is Higgs Boson given the name “The God Particle”?

Higgs Boson (messenger particle of Higgs field) accounts for inertial mass, not gravitational mass. So, how could it account for formation of universe as we know it today? I think, gravity accounts ...
4answers
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### Why do gravitational mass and inertial mass appear to be indistinguishable? [duplicate]

I have learnt that heavier the object is (the more gravitational mass it has), the more resistance to the change of motion it is (the more inertial mass it has). I can accept this fact but I can't ...
4answers
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### A Basic Question about Gravity, Inertia or Momentum or something along those lines

Why is it that if I'm sitting on a seat on a bus or train and its moving quite fast, I am able to throw something in the air and easily catch it? Why is it that I haven't moved 'past' the thing during ...
2answers
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### A bullet makes a hole but a rock shatters the glass

Consider a bullet fired toward a pane of glass. Barring slight cracks, it creates a relatively clean hole in the glass. On the other hand, when a stone is projected toward the same glass pane, it is ...
3answers
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### How can a flywheel make engine run smoothly?

In the video Moment of Inertia Demo, a man states that moment of inertia will be higher if the masses are away from the axis of rotation. The engine take more power to spin the flywheel, because of ...
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### Rotating the bucket in circular motion without spilling water

In the bucket experiment when the bucket reaches the top of the circle why will it have a normal force acting on the water downwards? Doesn't normal force oppose any other force? There is no force ...
5answers
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### 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 ...
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### How does electron spin change instantaneously without violating inertia principle?

The inertia in one of the main properties of matter. That is why all process in macro world do not happen instantaneously. What I do not understand is how we should apply this general idea of inertia ...
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### What is the present state of Mach's Principle amongst physicists? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is Mach’s Principle Wrong? I'm doing research on gravitation and inertial forces and would like to know what is the place that Mach's Principle is occupying nowadays in the ...
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### Can we explain Newton's first law mathematically?

At constant speed there is no acceleration. $(f'(x)=v'=0=a)$ .If $a=0$ then $F=ma=0$ and therefore no force acts on the object so the object will continue in the same direction, if any. This is only ...
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### Newton's first law: is his concept of (force of ) inertia still useful and used?

The force of inertia is the property common to all bodies that remain in their state, either at rest or in motion, unless some external cause is introduced to make them alter this state. That is ...
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### Does Dark Matter interact with Higgs Field?

Dark matter does have gravitational mass as we know from its discovery. Does it have inertial mass?
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### How to find the axis with minimum moment of inertia?

If a system of particles is given, in a 2D plane, with particles having masses $M_1$, $M_2$, $M_3, \ldots M_n$ and coordinates $(x_1,y_1)$, $(x_2,y_2)$, $(x_3,y_3), \ldots (x_n y_n)$, then how can one ...
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### How would you improve braking capability on a hovercraft? [closed]

Pretty much letting my mind free-wheel. Assume a fleet of air-supported hover-craft were to replace cars/etc on the streets. Assume also that the present traffic-signals/pedestrian rules remain ...
2answers
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### In a spaceship, if a vessel suddently stops will an object inside the vessel keep going?

My question is a 2 part question. First if a vessel in space is going very fast and suddently stops (maybe it is not possible but that is not the point) will things/humans inside the vessel keep ...
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### Would a spinning object like a fan stop faster in a non-gravity environment?

Let's say there is a fan spinning and stops in exactly 1 minute on earth. Would it stop faster or slower or exactly same time in a spacecraft without gravity but exact same density of air. Btw: let's ...
2answers
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### Is it experimentally verified that the neutrinos are affected by gravity?

If neutrinos (or any other particles) wasn't affected by gravity that would contradict the general theory of relativity. I'm convinced that the postulate of the equivalence between inertial mass and ...
2answers
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### Why does inertia happen?

In this video R P Feynman relates a story where his father told him that, even though we know the word "inertia" and what it means, nobody knows why inertia happens. Is that still true?
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### Does law of inertia has anything to do with speed of light?

I am not physics student so please pardon me if this sounds silly because I might be mixing irrelevant things here and I am not even getting how to ask my question. My main question is, does light ...
3answers
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### Physical meaning of the moment of inertia about an axis

In the context of rigid bodies, the inertia tensor is defined as the linear map that takes angular velocity to angular momentum, that is, the linear map $I : \mathbb{R}^3\to \mathbb{R}^3$ such that ...
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### What is the connection between inertial/gravitational mass and relativity?

In Einstein/Infield 's The Evolution of Physics (32-35) the authors establish that inertial mass and gravitational mass are the same and then connect this to relativity.Throughout these pages I was ...
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### Infinite acceleration?

Why is acceleration regulated by mass? In a frictionless environment, why doesn't an object move at infinite acceleration if force is applied on it? Force causes movement, so unless there is an ...
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### Does a interstellar spacecraft traveling at relativistic velocity require continous thrust to maintain velocity?

Assuming completely empty space, does a spacecraft traveling at 0.5 C require continuous thrust to avoid deceleration? If the spacecraft is traveling at 0.5 C, does it's relativistic mass act upon ...
2answers
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### Do electromagnetic fields have inertia? Or, what sets the speed of light?

In all mechanical waves, there is a restoring force and an inertial influence. For example, a plucked string oscillates because the restoring force brings it back to being straight and then the string'...
1answer
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### Why doesn't a test charge placed in an electric field, trace out the same path as the electric field lines?

Consider for example a positive charge placed between a positive charge and a negative charge. Initially the test charge is placed closer to positive charge. Why is path followed by the test charge ...
1answer
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### Does a rotating object have more inertia, mass and gravitational pull?

When an object is rotating on an axis, it has stored rotational energy in it. Since energy and mass are related, does this stored rotation increase the mass of the object? And if so, will it be harder ...
1answer
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### Htting the brakes with a pickup truck full of water

I am looking to settle a bet. My friend and I were discussing truck bed pools, which are pick-up trucks with their beds tarped and filled with water converting them into small temporary swimming pools....
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### Alcubierre drive and inertia.

What is the inertia or velocity of a vehicle upon exiting or shutting down an Alcubierre bubble? Would the vehicle maintain the velocity it had in the bubble? I'm not sure I asked the question in a ...
1answer
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### Is inertia actually a property of the force rather than the mass?

I ask this because it occurred to me that the inertial property of mass only actually arises in the context of forces (such as the EM force) as a resistance to their accelerating effect. Inertia plays ...
1answer
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### Why does mass cause resistance to acceleration?

If I were in a vacuum with no gravity or friction, why would it be harder to push a floating bowling ball than a marble? Is there anything happening on an subatomic level that makes matter act ...
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### Friction Resulting from Differing Masses

A friend and I are curious about something. We created a ramp from some wood (like a skate ramp) that's not purely circular in nature. We did so with the intent to test how the mass of an object can ...