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ERIC Number: EJ1000750
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Frames of Reference in the Classroom
Grossman, Joshua
Physics Teacher, v50 n9 p548-549 Dec 2012
The classic film "Frames of Reference" effectively illustrates concepts involved with inertial and non-inertial reference frames. In it, Donald G. Ivey and Patterson Hume use the cameras perspective to allow the viewer to see motion in reference frames translating with a constant velocity, translating while accelerating, and rotating--all with respect to the Earth frame. The film is a classic for good reason, but today it does have a couple of drawbacks: 1) The film by nature only accommodates passive learning. It does not give students the opportunity to try any of the experiments themselves. 2) The dated style of the 50-year-old film can distract students from the physics content. I present here a simple setup that can recreate many of the movies demonstrations in the classroom. The demonstrations can be used to supplement the movie or in its place, if desired. All of the materials except perhaps the inexpensive web camera should likely be available already in most teaching laboratories. Unlike previously described activities, these experiments do not require travel to another location or an involved setup. (Contains 1 figure.)
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A