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Reference Frames

  1. Jan 8, 2008 #1
    I am wondering about the generality of reference frames, and how abstract they can be.

    Is it possible for a vector in one reference frame to not exist in another frame? Or is there always a relation between two reference frames?

    Also, are two reference frames like two different sets of coordinate axes? I mean can you always get from one reference frame to another just by knowing the position and or rotation values?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2008 #2
    I think one vector in one frame can be zero in another frame. For example, in a free fall frame, the gravity vector is juxt zero.
  4. Jan 8, 2008 #3
    Ok, I think what I meant to say is,

    Can a reference frame A always be represented in terms of reference frame B only by having a spacial and a rotational translation?
  5. Jan 8, 2008 #4


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    In special relativity the transformations between inertial frames are translation, spatial rotation and boosts. Boosts are rotations that mix space and time and represent a frame that is moving wrt the base frame.
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