equivalence principle

equivalence principle

Fundamental principle of physics that in its weak form states that gravitational (see gravitation) and inertial (see inertia) masses are the same. Albert Einstein's stronger version states that gravitation and acceleration are indistinguishable. It implies that the effect of gravity is removed in a suitably accelerated reference frame, such as an elevator with its cable cut, in which a person would experience free fall.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on equivalence principle, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up equivalence principle? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More