Newton's Thought Experiment

In summary, the conversation discusses Newton's thought experiment about rotating rocks in deep space and the concept of inertial frame of reference. It also mentions the use of light as a frame of reference in such a scenario.
  • #1
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I'm not sure where this thread should go, sorry if it's in the wrong place.

In Newton's thought experiment about the rotating rocks going taut in deep space. With respect to what would the rocks be rotating?
 
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  • #2
An inertial frame of reference, of course.
 
  • #3
chuckset said:
I'm not sure where this thread should go, sorry if it's in the wrong place.

In Newton's thought experiment about the rotating rocks going taut in deep space. With respect to what would the rocks be rotating?

If the rocks are in an otherwise empty universe with no other massive objects to relate to, then I guess you could use light as a frame of reference. If a laser is placed on one rock and aimed at a target on the other rock, the light would miss the target if the rocks are rotating. This is basically using a simple form of a Sagnac device to detect rotation.
 

1. What is Newton's Thought Experiment?

Newton's Thought Experiment is a hypothetical situation created by Sir Isaac Newton to explain his theories of gravity and inertia. It involves a cannon being fired from the top of a tall mountain and the motion of the cannonball as it falls back to the ground.

2. How does Newton's Thought Experiment relate to his laws of motion?

Newton's Thought Experiment showcases his first and second laws of motion. The first law states that an object will remain at rest or in motion at a constant speed unless acted upon by an external force. The second law states that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass.

3. Why is Newton's Thought Experiment important in the field of science?

Newtons's Thought Experiment was a crucial step in the development of Newton's theories of gravity and motion. It helped to explain the behavior of objects in motion and laid the foundation for the laws of motion that are still used in modern physics.

4. Can Newton's Thought Experiment be replicated in real life?

Yes, Newton's Thought Experiment can be replicated in real life with the help of modern technology. By using a high-speed camera and precise measurements, scientists have been able to recreate the experiment and observe the motion of objects in free fall.

5. How has Newton's Thought Experiment influenced other areas of science?

Newton's Thought Experiment has had a significant impact on various fields of science, including physics, astronomy, and engineering. It has helped scientists understand the laws of motion and gravity, which are essential in the study of the universe and the development of new technologies.

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