Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How is it Moving?

  1. Apr 28, 2003 #1
    ok say i have a rock sitting on my desk next to my computer. what are all the different ways it is moving? universaly*

    i think about it alot and a previous post gave me the idea to ask all of you. Would love to hear different perspectives:smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    It can move any way you want if you choose the right reference system. How is it moving relative to what?
  4. Apr 28, 2003 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, yea...as the earth is rotating is moving that way...as the earth is going around the sun its going that way....as the solar system is moving around the galaxy, its moving that way....as the galaxy is moving in space, its moving that way...

    But again, reference points...if ure sitting next to it, its not moving at all, which is as valid as if someone was flying by our solar system and saw the rock moving, but then u see the rock standing still and the person moving..yeah...*confuzzled*
  5. Apr 29, 2003 #4
    yes, you can't answer this question without allocating a reference frame. Its an impossible question, because ultimate motion is governed by the boundaries of the universe. Can you invisage that?

    I think not...
  6. Apr 29, 2003 #5
    yeh thanks

  7. Apr 29, 2003 #6
    Or is that rock standing still and all other motion is happening around it?

    If you have ever looked through a telescope at low power, say 10x, you can walk away from it for five minutes, return and it is still pretty much the same view as when you left, but raise the magnification to 150x and suddenly that star or planet that was centered a second ago is marching toward the side of the field of view and out of sight. Although the stars and other planets are moving relative to us, the motion we percieve as the stars moving is mainly the rotation of the earth underneath of the telescope.
  8. Apr 29, 2003 #7
    I believe this should go into the philosophy forum because if you are asking how it is moving, then that suggests you are the observer, and since you are there looking at it, in the same general reference frame, the rock is not moving whatsoever, unless a force is applied on it within your reference frame.
  9. Apr 30, 2003 #8
    Rock is actually moving up (with acceleration about 9.8 m/s^2).

    This is quite easy to detect by any accelerometer (like a mass on spring, or mass on a string - a pendulum, etc).
  10. Apr 30, 2003 #9
    The rock is moving internally at a molecular level, with a random kinetic energy related to it's heat
  11. Apr 30, 2003 #10
    And each proton/neutron/electron in it is likely just a motion of sub-stuff (vacuum? massless string? space-time?) in it, creating illusion of mass and of other quantities (charge, spin, etc). In reality there may be nothing "physical" in there.
  12. Apr 30, 2003 #11
    ...which is why this is a philosophical topic more than it is physics..
  13. Apr 30, 2003 #12
    I would rather say "mathematical" instead of "philosophical".
  14. Apr 30, 2003 #13
    What is really moving?

    If you don't see it moving, then it's not moving. Well it's exerting a force on an object (table) and table is exerting a force back of same magnitude. It is rvolving with the earth. If earth is frame of reference the rocks not moving but a force acts on t every single instant (it's weight). It depends on your frme of reference. If your frame of reference is lets say planet jupitur...then it's moving.:smile:
  15. May 2, 2003 #14
    It has obviously moved you....

    Is motion real or unreal? Local or nonlocal? Why care?


    Great perfection can seem incomplete,
    But does not decay;
    Great abundance can seem empty,
    But does not fail.
    Great truth can seem contradictory;
    Great cleverness can seem stupid;
    Great eloquence can seem awkward;
    Great questions can seem foolish.
    As spring overcomes the cold,
    And autumn overcomes the heat,
    So calm and quiet overcome the world.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: How is it Moving?
  1. How fast are we moving? (Replies: 10)

  2. How do things move? (Replies: 5)