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Relativity in Modern Physics$
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Nathalie Deruelle and Jean-Philippe Uzan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786399.001.0001

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Accelerated frames

Accelerated frames

(p.213) 5 Accelerated frames
Relativity in Modern Physics

Nathalie Deruelle

Jean-Philippe Uzan

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how, within the framework of special relativity, Newtonian inertial accelerations turn into mere geometrical quantities. In addition, the chapter states that labeling the points of Minkowski spacetime using curvilinear coordinates rather than Minkowski coordinates is mathematically just as simple as in Euclidean space. However, the interpretation of such a change of coordinates as passage from an inertial frame to an accelerated frame is more subtle. Hence, the chapter studies some examples of this phenomenon. Finally, it addresses the problem of understanding what the curvilinear coordinates actually represent. Or, similarly, it considers the question of how to realize them by a reference frame in actual, ‘relative, apparent, and common’ physical space.

Keywords:   accelerated frames, special relativity, Newtonian inertial accelerations, Minkowski spacetime, curvilinear coordinates

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