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written by Joe Wolfe
designer: George Hatsidimitris
This web page describes inertial and non-inertial frames of reference, the latter being frames where Newton's laws do not hold. The text explains "fictitious forces", the centrifugal force and the Coriolis force, that enable Newton's laws to describe motion in a non-inertial frame. An animation shows the motion of a ball rolling on a merry-go-round as seen both from the merry-go-round and from the ground.
Editor's Note: This is part of a large web site, EinsteinLight, that explains relativity at a qualitative level from Galileo through the intersection with quantum mechanics. The animation in this tutorial uses a rotating reference frame to illustrate both the inertial and non-inertial frames. For a similar interactive simulation on relative motion, see Related Materials.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Newton's First Law
= Inertia in Motion
- Relative Motion
= Coriolis Effect
= Rotating Reference Frames
Relativity
- Galilean Relativity
- Reference Frames
= Inertial
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Simulation
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Image/Image Set
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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text/html
application/flash
image/gif
Access Rights:
Free access
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© 2005 University of New South Wales
Keywords:
Centrifugal force, Galilean relativity, fictional force, inertial, non-inertial, reference frames
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 29, 2007 by Ann Deml
Record Updated:
June 26, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 29, 2007
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Wolfe, (2005), WWW Document, (http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Wolfe, Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics (2005), <http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm>.
APA Format
Wolfe, J. (2007, November 29). Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics. Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm
Chicago Format
Wolfe, Joe. Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics. November 29, 2007. http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm (accessed 16 September 2014).
MLA Format
Wolfe, Joe. Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics. 2005. 29 Nov. 2007. 16 Sep. 2014 <http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Joe Wolfe", Title = {Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {16 September 2014}, Month = {November 29, 2007}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%A Joe Wolfe
%T Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics
%D November 29, 2007
%U http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Wolfe, Joe
%D November 29, 2007
%T Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics
%V 2014
%N 16 September 2014
%8 November 29, 2007
%9 text/html
%U http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module1_Inertial.htm


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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Einstein Light: Inertial frames and Newtonian mechanics:

Same topic as NTNU Java: Relative Motion (frame of reference)

This Java applet, appropriate for introductory levels, lets users choose from 3 frames of reference to explore relative motion. Velocity vectors can be displayed for each frame chosen.

relation by Caroline Hall

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