Physics: Frames of Reference 1960 PSSC Physical Science Study Committee; Reference & Relativity04:33

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Published on October 8, 2017

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‘Uses experiments to show the changes in the appearance of motion as viewed from frames of reference moving relative to one another. Demonstrates how Newton’s law of motion can only be applied to inert and accelerated frames of reference when one applies “fictitious” forces to compensate.’ Your instructors are Professor Patterson Hume and Professor Donald Ivey from the University of Toronto.

Public domain film, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

Frames of Reference is a 1960 educational film by Physical Sciences Study Committee.

The film was made to be shown in high school physics courses. In the film, University of Toronto physics professors Patterson Hume and Donald Ivey explain the distinction between inertial and noninertial frames of reference, while demonstrating these concepts through humorous camera tricks. For example, the film opens with Dr. Hume, who appears to be upside down, accusing Dr. Ivey of being upside down. Only when the pair flip a coin does it become obvious that Dr. Ivey — and the camera — are indeed inverted.

The film’s humor serves both to hold students’ interest and to demonstrate the concepts being discussed…

In physics, a frame of reference (or reference frame) consists of an abstract coordinate system and the set of physical reference points that uniquely fix (locate and orient) the coordinate system and standardize measurements.

In n dimensions, n+1 reference points are sufficient to fully define a reference frame. Using rectangular (Cartesian) coordinates, a reference frame may be defined with a reference point at the origin and a reference point at one unit distance along each of the n coordinate axes.

In Einsteinian relativity, reference frames are used to specify the relationship between a moving observer and the phenomenon or phenomena under observation. In this context, the phrase often becomes “observational frame of reference” (or “observational reference frame”), which implies that the observer is at rest in the frame, although not necessarily located at its origin. A relativistic reference frame includes (or implies) the coordinate time, which does not correspond across different frames moving relatively to each other. The situation thus differs from Galilean relativity, where all possible coordinate times are essentially equivalent…

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