Chapter 3: How do we perceive motion?
King George High School
Author: Alexis Rixner
Date: September 21, 2011
In our daily lives, we have come to recognize motion in regards to ourselves and other stationary objects around ourselves. We concluded that of an object that maintains it position with respect to the immobile objects, is at rest. We also determined that all objects moving, along with the earth without changing its positions on earth surface is considered stationary objects in the earth’s frame of reference. So theoretically, “all bodies not changing position with respect to a specific observer is stationary in the frame of reference attached with the observer.”(Singhil) Hermann von
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This motion doesn’t happen in a straight line or plane, such as a bird flying in three dimensions. An example for two dimensional motion is “a ball thrown at an angle with horizon is described in terms of two coordinates x and y.”(Singhil) One dimensional motion is described using one of the three coordinates, while the other two remain constant during the motion. How do we distinguish motion? An object or body in motion cannot perceive its own motion. For example, we live on earth in an immobile state where we don’t realize that the earth is moving a high speed around the sun. The earth is moving at about 30 km/s, a speed that is faster than the fastest airplane that mankind has developed. As observers, we manly ignore or are unaware of the speed of an aircraft or automobile that we would be traveling in. To an observer the passengers and parts of the aircraft are all moving at the same speed, which gives the impression that the passengers are sitting in a stationary state. Remarkably, the motion of a body and its measurement is found to be influenced by the state of motion of the observer itself and hence by the state of motion of the attached frame of reference. For example, “Two observers in the same state of motion, such as two persons standing on the platform, perceive the motion of a passing train in exactly same manner. On the other hand, the passenger in a speeding train finds that the other train crossing it