Classical Physics


Newton’s Laws of Motion, Reference Frames and Inertia

Authors: Chris O'Loughlin

The validity of Newton’s Laws of Motion depends on the type of reference frame they act in. They are valid in inertial reference frames and not valid in non-inertial reference frames. Reference frames thus play a pivotal role any understanding of the laws themselves. So, what must we know in general about reference frames? And if a reference frame can be inertial or non-inertial, what must we know about inertia? This paper addresses these concepts and clarifies some common misconceptions surrounding them. Additionally, a modified definition of inertia is proposed that allows for a different formulation of Newton’s laws making them valid in either type of reference frame.

Comments: 9 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2011-12-02 14:52:42

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