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Encyclopedia > Equivalence of inertial frames

The theory of Special Relativity states that there are no "privileged" frames of reference, or in other words, there is no place to "stand still" and observe the rest of the universe. Everything in the universe is in motion with respect to something else in the universe.


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Inertial frame of reference - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (764 words)
In particular, a body viewed from an inertial frame accelerates only when a physical force is applied; in the absence of a net force, a body at rest remains at rest and a body in motion continues to move uniformly, i.e., in a straight line at constant speed (Newton's first law of motion).
By contrast, bodies are subject to so-called fictitious forces in non-inertial reference frames; that is, forces that result from the acceleration of the reference frame itself and not from any physical force acting on the body.
Einstein's theory of special relativity likewise assumes the equivalence of all inertial reference frames, but makes a different additional assumption, namely, that the speed of light is the same when measured in all inertial reference frames.
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