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Earth is a inertial frame of reference

  1. Feb 8, 2010 #1
    hi all of u
    WHAT IS INERTIA? and earth is a inertial frame of reference or non inertial frame of reference? tell me briefly.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2010 #2
    Re: Inertia

    Inertia is resistance towards acceleration. If the Higgs mechanism is correct, it can be explained as interaction with the Higgs field. But Higgs has not yet been detected.

    When you are standing on the surface of the earth, you are not in an inertial reference frame, because the earth pushes you up all the time, and doesn't allow you to follow a free fall trajectory.

  4. Feb 8, 2010 #3
    Re: Inertia

    it means eath is a non inertial frame of reference?
  5. Feb 8, 2010 #4
    Re: Inertia

    Yes, a frame following the surface of earth is a non-inertial reference frame. But it is all relative. E.g. for the experiments done in particle physics in accelerators, the time intervals of collisions are so short that gravity can be neglected. So in that regard, we are considering the surface of earth to be an inertial frame.

    On the other hand, if the experiment is to observe e.g. the interaction between oil and water in a tank, then the same reference system is not adequate, since we know that gravity will separate the fluid components because of their differing densities. So you would have to take the tank up into space and see how the two fluids interact when the tank is circling earth in free fall.

  6. Feb 9, 2010 #5
    Re: Inertia

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