David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
A “frame of reference” is a standard relative to which motion and rest may be measured; any set of points or objects that are at rest relative to one another enables us, in principle, to describe the relative motions of bodies. A frame of reference is therefore a purely kinematical device, for the geometrical description of motion without regard to the masses or forces involved. A dynamical account of motion leads to the idea of an “inertial frame,” or a reference frame relative to which motions have distinguished dynamical properties. For that reason an inertial frame has to be understood as a spatial reference frame together with some means of measuring time, so that uniform motions can be distinguished from accelerated motions. The laws of Newtonian dynamics provide a simple definition: an inertial frame is a reference-frame with a time-scale, relative to which the motion of a body not subject to forces is always rectilinear and uniform, accelerations are always proportional to and in the direction of applied forces, and applied forces are always met with equal and opposite reactions. It follows that, in an inertial frame, the center of mass of a system of bodies is always at rest or in uniform motion. It also follows that any other frame of reference moving uniformly relative to an inertial frame is also an inertial frame. For example, in Newtonian celestial mechanics, taking the “fixed stars” as a frame of reference, we can determine an (approximately) inertial frame whose center is the center of mass of the solar system; relative to this frame, every acceleration of every planet can be accounted for (approximately) as a gravitational interaction with some other planet in accord with Newton's laws of motion.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Friedman (2007). Understanding Space-Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):216--225.
Similar books and articles
Douglas M. Snyder (1994). On the Arbitrary Choice Regarding Which Inertial Reference Frame is "Stationary" and Which is "Moving" in the Special Theory of Relativity. Philosophical Explorations.
Wilfred Krause (1992). Inertial Reference Frame System. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 23 (1):61-83.
Toshio Ishigaki (1995). A Formal System for Classical Particle Mechanics, its Model-Theoretic Applications and Space-Time Structure. Synthese 102 (2):267 - 292.
Robert DiSalle (1990). Conventionalism and the Origins of the Inertial Frame Concept. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:139 - 147.
Jill North (2008). Review of Max Jammer, Concepts of Simultaneity: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond. [REVIEW] American Scientist 96 (1).
Edward Slowik (1997). Huygens' Center-of-Mass Space-Time Reference Frame: Constructing a Cartesian Dynamics in the Wake of Newton's “de Gravitatione” Argument. Synthese 112 (2):247-269.
Richard T. W. Arthur, Time Lapse and the Degeneracy of Time: Gödel, Proper Time and Becoming in Relativity Theory.
Alastair Wilson (2009). Disposition-Manifestations and Reference-Frames. Dialectica 63 (4):591-601.
David Zaret (1980). A Limited Conventionalist Critique of Newtonian Space-Time. Philosophy of Science 47 (3):474-494.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads76 ( #26,320 of 1,696,294 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #111,244 of 1,696,294 )
How can I increase my downloads?