1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Inertial reference frames

  1. Feb 24, 2012 #1
    Hello, I am having difficulty understanding the concept of Newton's first law only applying in an inertial reference frame, or a frame that is at constant velocity, however, apparently the 1st law no longer applies if the reference frame is accelerating. Can anyone give me some sort of concrete example so I can see it in my mind, right now it's not making any sense to me. Actually, I just need an explanation of the whole concept of inertial vs noninertial reference frame.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2012 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    If you're floating out in space that's an inertial frame. If you toss a ball it will go straight at a constant velocity.

    In contrast a non-inertial frame is where you're standing on the earth and you toss a ball the ball travels in a curve.

    A pool table simulates an inertial frame in the xy plane ie z is height above the ground. Setting a ball in motion it will move straight and only slow due to friction.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Inertial reference frames
Loading...