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Frame of Reference

A frame in which an observer is situated and makes his observations is known as his Frame of reference.
The reference frame is associated with a co-ordinate system and a clock to measure the position and time of events happening in space. We can describe all the physical quantities such as position, velocity, acceleration, etc., of an object in this coordinate system.
Frame of reference are of two types:
  1. Inertial frame of reference and
  2. non-inertial frame of reference.

Inertial frame of reference

  • A frame of reference which is at rest or which is moving with a uniform velocity along a straight line is called an inertial frame of reference.
  • In inertial frame of reference Newton’s laws of motion hold good.
  • Inertial frame of reference are also called unaccelerated frame of reference or Newtonian or Galilean frame of reference.
  • Ideally no inertial frame exists in universe. For practical purpose, a frame of reference may be considered as inertial if its acceleration is negligible with respect to the acceleration of the object to be observed.

Non-inertial frame of reference

  • Accelerated frame of references are called non-inertial frame of reference.
  • Newton’s laws of motion are not applicable in non-inertial frame of reference.

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