reference frame


reference frame

Coordinate system that allows description of time and position of points relative to a body. The axes, or lines, emanate from a position called the origin. As a point moves, its velocity can be described in terms of changes in displacement and direction. Reference frames are chosen arbitrarily. For example, if a person is sitting in a moving train, the description of the person's motion depends on the chosen frame of reference. If the frame of reference is the train, the person is considered to be not moving relative to the train; if the frame of reference is the Earth, the person is moving relative to the Earth.

Variants of REFERENCE FRAME

reference frame or frame of reference

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on reference frame, visit Britannica.com.

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