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Universe mass responsible for inertia?

  1. Dec 28, 2009 #1


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    I've heard it proposed (by peers in the physics halls) that inertia is the result of the force from all other masses in the universe on the test mass. Is this a valid theory? If it is, I would extrapolate with some predicted consequences.


    ok, I have found the name of it: Mach's Principle seems comparable.

    If this is true, wouldn't it imply that every point in the universe is the center of universe, or else the mass will have a different value depending on where it is in the universe?

    Also, what would it imply about the strength of the fundamental forces? Does it mean we can break inertia down into a summation of forces? Would it mean that the coupling constants of the gravitational and electromagnetic forces aren't a fair comparison? I have difficult understanding what m is after this, since F = ma, but m is the result of forces: F = ma... it seems circular.

    I'm having a conceptual brain fart here.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2009 #2
    Quote from the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertia" [Broken] article:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Dec 28, 2009 #3


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    I thought we knew the gravitational effect operated near the speed of light. But still, this does have something to it. It can't be mere coincidence that this is the case, can it?

    I didn't know there was actually a quantity called inertia, I thought it was a concept. We have inertial mass, but the units aren't equivalent to force, so how do we define the "force" of inertia?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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