Questions tagged [machs-principle]

Use this tag for Mach's principle. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for the Mach number!

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38
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9answers
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How does an isolated body in deep space 'know' it's rotating? [duplicate]

We can imagine an object floating in the known universe, maximally distant from any other large mass. Maybe it has been there since coalescing after the big bang. What physical phenomena tell it ...
32
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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 ...
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10answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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How does a spinning object “know” that it is spinning?

I am constructing a thought experiment about a spinning object that is floating in intergalactic space. I assume that this object is about the size of a planet so that it will have enough gravity so ...
27
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7answers
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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 ...
25
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4answers
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Would there be centrifugal force if I were alone in the universe? [duplicate]

When I'm rotating, I feel centrifugal force. But if I were the only one in the universe and rotating, wouldn't I just kinda be still (since I'm not rotating with respect to anything) or would there ...
22
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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 ...
21
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8answers
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Is rotational motion relative to space?

Let's assume that there is nothing in the universe except Earth. If the Earth rotates on its axis as it does, then would we experience the effects of rotational motion like centrifugal force and ...
19
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5answers
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Newton's Bucket [duplicate]

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 ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Do I have to know the General Relativity theory to understand the concept of inertial frame?

I have read answers on this site as well as the Wikipedia article, but they all add to the confusion. Some people suggest that a freely falling frame is an inertial frame. I learnt in classical ...
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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 ...
14
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2answers
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How can Newton's idea of absolute space be reconciled with Galilean relativity?

I wasn't sure if this might be better suited to History of Science and Mathematics SE, but I suppose it is a bit more 'science-y' than historical. Apparently Newton believed in absolute space and ...
12
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1answer
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Is Weinberg wrong in this account of how Mach's principle is incorporated in general relativity?

In his book "Dreams of a final theory" pg.144 Steven Weinberg says "the circulation of the matter of the universe around the zenith seen by observers on a merry-go-round produces a field somewhat ...
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3answers
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How do we explain accelerated motion in Newtonian physics and in modern physics?

Maybe my question will seem stupid, but I am not a physicist so I have some problems understanding a classic Newtonian experiment: in the bucket experiment, why does he have to introduce the absolute ...
10
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1answer
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Is MTW's argument in favor of Mach's principle valid?

Looking at older books, I was surprised to see that the general relativity "bible" by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler is very strongly in favor of Mach's principle, which is treated in section 21.12. ...
9
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6answers
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How can we tell if the Earth is spinning without any external references? [duplicate]

The rotation of the Earth about its axis makes it bulge at the equator and contract at the poles due to the centrifugal forces. How do we know, without any external references, that the Earth is ...
9
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3answers
905 views

Can we determine an absolute frame of reference taking into account general relativity?

Given that acceleration induces measurable physical effects, would it be correct to say that there should be an absolute inertial frame of reference? I know that one cannot distinguish a priori ...
9
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4answers
573 views

Will accelerated observer see radiation from the charge that is at rest in observers's frame?

So I had a huge debate about this with my friends. Imagine that you are in a non-inertial frame of reference. For simplicity, assume that frame is accelerated along x-axis. You have held a charge in ...
9
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1answer
751 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 reasonably ...
7
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3answers
843 views

What is “a general covariant formulation of newtonian mechanics”?

I am a little confused: I read that there are general covariant formulations of Newtonian mechanics (e.g. here). I always thought: 1) A theory is covariant with respect to a group of transformations ...
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4answers
610 views

Is there a distinguished reference system, after all?

The equivalence principle, being the main postulate upon which the general relativity theory rests, basically states that all reference systems are equivalent, because pseudo forces can (locally) be ...
6
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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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2answers
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Understanding Mach's principle: What does it answer?

What is the question that Mach tried to address in his principle? I mean, we know how to detect the inertial and non-inertial frames (by Newton’s law). Once this is understood we also see that due to ...
6
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0answers
142 views

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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4answers
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Rotational relativity? Is there an universal frame of reference for rotation?

So, there is obviously no such thing as an universal frame of reference for velocity. According to the relativity theory, there is no difference between two observers moving with respect to each other,...
5
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2answers
152 views

Ernst Mach vs. Einstein

In the Ernst Mach wikipedia page, Einstein seems to be influenced by Ernst Mach. But it says In 1930, [Einstein] stated that "it is justified to consider Mach as the precursor of the general theory ...
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3answers
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If Julian Barbour is Correct, is the Speed of Light Special?

According to this article in Discover Magazine, Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity is wrong, because it didn't fully live up to the ideas of Einstein's idol, Ernst Mach. Mach proposed a truly ...
4
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3answers
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Earth's rotation in an empty universe

I have read these questions: Is rotational motion relative to space? Rotation in an 'empty' universe None of these talk about whether we can and how we can determine rotation of Earth ...
4
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2answers
199 views

Would the arms of a rotating ice skater still move outwards if there was no other object in the universe?

If there is no other object in the universe apart from a rotating ice skater, then nothing can be used as a reference frame. Would it make any sense to say that the skater is rotating? If so, rotating ...
4
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1answer
514 views

How can you tell if a given reference frame is inertial? [duplicate]

An inertial reference frame is one in which a particle has constant velocity if and only if has a zero net force acting on it. How can one determine if a given reference frame is inertial? For ...
4
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1answer
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If reality is relative, then what about Newton's bucket argument?

There is nothing outside the universe. - Lee Smolin So, there can't be any absolute frame. Everything must be measured relative to an entity that exists in the universe. Thus, space is ...
4
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1answer
239 views

Newton's Bucket, Artificial Gravity, Absolute Rotation, and Mach's Principle

I have been trying to understand how we can talk about absolute rotation in general relativity. I get that it is an area of active debate with some adherents of Mach's Principle and others believing ...
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2answers
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If matter creates space, shouldn't there be experimentally detectable consequences?

Ernst Mach, a man to who influenced Albert Einstein significantly in his approach to relativity, did not quite seem to believe in space as a self-existing entity. I'm pretty sure it would be correct ...
4
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2answers
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Why is Brans-Dicke Theory considered as a failed attempt to incorporate Mach’s principle in a relativistic theory of gravity?

In Generalized Brans-Dicke theory: A dynamical systems analysis by Nandan Roy and Narayan Banerjee, Brans-Dicke theory is described as a failed attempt to incorporate Mach’s principle in a ...
4
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1answer
221 views

The Inertial theory of Sciama and an electromagnetic analogue

In 1952 D. W. Sciama introduced a paper On the origin of inertia. It presents a method in which inertia could arise from other mass in the universe. It goes along these lines: If you try to ...
4
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0answers
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Is the equivalence principle Machian?

There is a lot of discussion on the subject of Mach's principle, and whether it has any place in the theory of relativity. But it seems to me that one could argue that Mach's principle is at the heart ...
3
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2answers
530 views

Is the pressure higher in the corners?

I was watching the video The Ingenious Design of the Aluminum Beverage Can. At 20'', the author says [..] a spherical can [..] has no corner, so no weak points because the pressure in the can ...
3
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4answers
392 views

Chosing a reference frame in which the Earth is at rest and doesn't rotate

We may choose a non-rotating earth as our reference frame and ask ourselves: how about the planetary and stellar motions. A star at a distance of 10 million light years would turn around the earth in ...
3
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4answers
150 views

Is rotation absolute? [duplicate]

I was reading an article that rotation instead of linear motion is absolute. Can anyone explain why? Shouldn't an observer (A) moving in a circle around a point in an object that rotates (with respect ...
3
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1answer
123 views

Is it possible to tell which way a Universe is spinning?

Imagine a Universe spinning on the x-axis. So there is a centripetal directed away from the x-axis. According to General Relativity this is entirely equivalent to a non-spinning Universe with a ...
3
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4answers
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Is the Woodward effect real?

Did anyone ever heard about this?I've never seen any serious physicist talk about "mass fluctuations". Here is the man in his own words: http://www.intalek.com/Index/Projects/Research/woodward1.pdf ...
3
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1answer
129 views

Can empty space rotate without frame dragging?

A recent question Rotation of our Galaxy's inertial frame is about an observational evidence of the space rotation. My question is if such a rotation is conceptually possible in GR. Can we assume ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Two masses in empty space

Consider two equal point masses which are rotating circular arround each other in empty space for ever (radiation effects are ignored). Let an observer be at the center of mass of the system. Then, ...
3
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0answers
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Why are some things attracted to you but others repelled by you in rotating reference frames?

Note that my understanding of general-relativity is rudimentary. If I understand right, it means that basically any reference frame can be considered stationary, but there may be random gravitational ...
3
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1answer
125 views

Does a similar concept like centrifugal force exist for the whole universe? [duplicate]

Is it meaningful in the sense of falsificable to ask whether the whole universe (including everything known/observable: cosmic background radiation etc ..., excluding everything not directly ...
2
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2answers
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Question concerning the cause of the rise of water in a spinning bucket in empty space according to Mach

According to Mach we can attribute the fact that in a spinning bucket with water the water rises to the edges of the bucket just as well to the whole Universe rotating around the bucket, as to the ...
2
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2answers
151 views

Having trouble understanding how the centrifugal force works

I thought that I understood the centrifugal force earlier, but I can't seem to grasp how it interacts when considering that everything is relative? Let's imagine that you are the only one in the ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Rotation inside a black hole

As far as I can see most of the questions about rotation of a black hole refer to the appearance of a hole to an outside observer. What about the region within the Schwarzschild radius? According ...
2
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1answer
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Atom interferometry,gravity and inertia: What can it measure that light interferometry can't? [closed]

What previously unexplored effects in gravity and inertia can be examined with atom interferometry in ways that hasn't already been done through light interferometry? Can atom interferometry be used ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Why there is a preference between different reference-bodies?

I know a classical mechanics law points out the following (Newton's first law): material particles with constant velocity will continue to move uniformly in straight line. If material particles are in ...