Mach's principle and Newtonian mechanics

  • Solomon L. Schwebel


The union of Mach's principle and Newtonian mechanics gives rise to Relational Mechanics. We find that the characteristics of the revised mechanics are: (1) freedom from any reference to absolute space; (2) the identity of inertial and gravitational mass; (3) the relative acceleration of a body in a gravitational field dependent on the mass of the body. All these results are valid in the context of a Newtonian mechanics which is being developed in the center-of-mass system of all the particles. The conservation of linear momentum, energy, angular momentum are expressed in relational terms, i.e., no reference is made to absolute space. Relational Mechanics is a classical relativistic theory which can be formulated to satisfy Einsteinian relativistic requirements. The Hamiltonian formalism for Relational Mechanics is discussed.


Field Theory Angular Momentum Elementary Particle Quantum Field Theory Gravitational Field 
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  1. Goldstein, H. (1950).Classical Mechanics. Addison-Wesley Press, Inc., Cambridge, Mass. Chap. 3, p. 80.Google Scholar
  2. Milne, E. A. (1948).Kinematic Relativity, Oxford University Press, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Limited 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Solomon L. Schwebel
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston CollegeChestnut Hill

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