inertial Definition and Topics - 12 Discussions

In classical physics and special relativity, an inertial frame of reference is a frame of reference that is not undergoing acceleration. In an inertial frame of reference, a physical object with zero net force acting on it moves with a constant velocity (which might be zero)—or, equivalently, it is a frame of reference in which Newton's first law of motion holds. An inertial frame of reference can be defined in analytical terms as a frame of reference that describes time and space homogeneously, isotropically, and in a time-independent manner. Conceptually, the physics of a system in an inertial frame have no causes external to the system. An inertial frame of reference may also be called an inertial reference frame, inertial frame, Galilean reference frame, or inertial space.All inertial frames are in a state of constant, rectilinear motion with respect to one another; an accelerometer moving with any of them would detect zero acceleration. Measurements in one inertial frame can be converted to measurements in another by a simple transformation (the Galilean transformation in Newtonian physics and the Lorentz transformation in special relativity). In general relativity, in any region small enough for the curvature of spacetime and tidal forces to be negligible, one can find a set of inertial frames that approximately describe that region.In a non-inertial reference frame in classical physics and special relativity, the physics of a system vary depending on the acceleration of that frame with respect to an inertial frame, and the usual physical forces must be supplemented by fictitious forces. In contrast, systems in general relativity don't have external causes, because of the principle of geodesic motion. In classical physics, for example, a ball dropped towards the ground does not go exactly straight down because the Earth is rotating, which means the frame of reference of an observer on Earth is not inertial. The physics must account for the Coriolis effect—in this case thought of as a force—to predict the horizontal motion. Another example of such a fictitious force associated with rotating reference frames is the centrifugal effect, or centrifugal force.

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  1. B

    Referential inertial

    How we talk about referential inertial if the Earth always is in motion? Because if the Earth is in motion, everything is in motion with the Earth. So nothing is a inertial referential. How can we talk about Newton's First Law?
  2. T

    Inertial Frames

    This question concerns inertial frames. I am aware that an inertial frame is one that is not accelerating. I am aware of an alternative definition: it is one on which no forces are applied. (Yes, they are the same thing.) I am also aware of the d'Alembert "forces" that appear when a frame is...
  3. Lee Sung Bin

    B Gravitational mass and Inertial mass in relativistic physics

    In Newtonian mechanics, both gravitational mass and inertial mass is m. This principle is known as the principle of equivalence. However, I heard that in Relativity, gravitational mass is γm instead of m because total energy of the particle is γmc2. But in special relativity, it is widely known...
  4. J

    Is free fall NOT the same as floating in space?

    For many, many years (don't ask), I've been running into the classic example of the local reference frame: the man in the box who can't tell if he's floating free in space, or falling into a gravity well. It occurs to me that if one is in a falling box, a mass released at the top of the box...
  5. C

    A Inertial frames: from GR to SR

    Hello everyone, here I come with a question about inertial frames as defined in General Relativity, and how to prove that the general definition is consistent with the particular case of Special Relativity. So to contextualize, I have found that one can define inertial frames in General...
  6. S

    Coriolis effect causes in motion of a free falling object

    I don't understand what are the causes of the Coriolis effect for objects moving with respect to Earth. For istance consider an object free falling on the earth from an height h. Its tangential velocity its greater than the velocity of an object on the surface of Earth, hence it moves eastward...
  7. R

    Convert ECI to ECEF

    I have done a search online to understand how to convert ECI to ECEF. I wanted to learn what the conversion is so I could just create a matlab script to make it happen. My problem is that most of the information I find assumes you already have some knowledge about ECI and ECEF. If I had more...
  8. E

    How rockets take curved paths in space (absent gravity)

    This might have been answered before but it's something that has been bothering me. A rocket in space will move in a straight line. If I apply thrust, it still moves in a straight line unless I apply the thrust in a different direction. So unless I have rocket nozzles attached to the side...
  9. K

    Inertial frame of reference question for stacked boxes

    Hello, I was wondering about a question and how it would be reconciled within Newton's laws of motion. Take a case where two boxes are stacked on top of each other, and the bottom box rests on a frictionless surface. Now, imagine a rope is attached to the top box, and tension is applied to...
  10. adoion

    Was Einstein lucky when not considering twin paradox as paradox?

    hi, Einstein did not even consider the twin paradox as problematic at all, he argued that it is a simple consequence of his special relativity? obviously he never gave a explanation of why the two twins don't age the same he instead left it to others to do so. was Einstein just having a hunch...
  11. C

    Kinetic energy of a rotating and translating body?

    Homework Statement Not a homework or coursework question, but given the simplicity of the problem I feel that this is an appropriate subforum. Consider a person spinning a rock on a string above their head at a constant angular velocity, walking away from the observer at a constant linear...
  12. P

    Problem with a Differential in a Non Inertial System.

    A ball of mass 'm' is inside of a tube that rotates in a horizontal plane around the vertical axis (Drawing a circunference). Attached to the ball (inside of the tube) there is a massless, inextensible rope that goes to the midpoint of the circle described by the rotating tube. The other end of...