Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Elements of Relativity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David M. Wittman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199658633.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2020

Galilean Relativity

Galilean Relativity

(p.22) 3 Galilean Relativity
The Elements of Relativity

David M. Wittman

Oxford University Press

Galilean relativity is a useful description of nature at low speed. Galileo found that the vertical component of a projectile’s velocity evolves independently of its horizontal component. In a frame that moves horizontally along with the projectile, for example, the projectile appears to go straight up and down exactly as if it had been launched vertically. The laws of motion in one dimension are independent of any motion in the other dimensions. This leads to the idea that the laws of motion (and all other laws of physics) are equally valid in any inertial frame: the principle of relativity. This principle implies that no inertial frame can be considered “really stationary” or “really moving.” There is no absolute standard of velocity (contrast this with acceleration where Newton’s first law provides an absolute standard). We discuss some apparent counterexamples in everyday experience, and show how everyday experience can be misleading.

Keywords:   Galilean relativity, inertial frame, principle of relativity, projectile motion, velocity components

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .