What is a difference between an inertial and non-inertial reference frames?
Inertial Reference Frame: An inertial reference fram is defined either by an object that is not moving or is moving at a constant velocity. Nithe the speed nor direction may change.
Non-Inertai Reference Frame: A non-inertial reference frame is defined by an object that is undergiong acceloration.
Give an example of each.
Inertial Reference Frame:
1) A train car on a staight track going north at 60mph.
2) A plane traviling at constant velocity.
4) A submarine travaling in a staight line at 30 nots.
Non-Inertai Reference Frame:
1) A car stoping at a stop light.
2) A car making a right hand turn.
3) The moon.
4) A plane that is in adive.
How many of each can you find?
Since any non accelorating object can be used to define an inertial reference frame, there are an infinite number of them. Similarly since there are an infinate number of accelorating frams (i.e. non-inertial).
How do you know if a particular object can be an inertial reference frame?
Any object that defines an inertial reference frame must obay Newton's laws of motion (1-3). If the object appears to all of the sudden an object in the frame moves or accelorate for no reasone then it cannot be an inertial frame.
For example, if you define your referece frame to be a car, and an object in the car, say a balloon, suddenlt move to the left of the rerence frame (without another object exerting force on it), then you know that the reference frame cannot be inertial (In this cace the refernce frame is undergoing circular motion to the right of the car. i.e. the driver made a right hand turn.)