Frames of Reference

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This PSSC film made in 1960 is one of the finest physics films ever made. All students should see it at some point in their studies.

See the article '"Frames of Reference" revisited' by Alistair Steyn-Ross and Donald G Ivey, American Journal of Physics 60(12), 1069-1085, December 1992, which contains an annotated script of the film and stills. A copy may be found in the Demonstration files.

We have the film in 16 mm format, VHS and laser disc. The disc version is recommended for use in lectures. Chapter and frame numbers refer to this laser disc version. Chapter titles are taken from the directory on the disc. Chapter barcodes are available.
Chapter Frame number
00421 Index
1 00425 Introduction
2 01265 Frames of Reference
3 03135 Relative Motion
4 04495 Earth as a Frame of Reference
5 06350 Free Fall on Cart at Constant Velocity
6 09027 Free Fall in Slow Motion with a Fixed Frame of Reference
7 10015 Free Fall in Slow Motion with a Moving Frame of Reference
8 12510 Free Fall in Slow Motion without a Frame of Reference
9 13198 Spot Rotating in a Moving Frame of Reference
10 14779 Comparing Velocities in Different Frames of Reference
11 17308 Formulas for Comparing Velocities in Different Frames of Reference
12 19742 Free Fall on Accelerated Cart Relative to Earth as a Frame of Reference
13 21072 Free Fall on Accelerated Cart with Slow Motion Camera
14 22150 Inertial Frame of Reference and Fictitious Force
15 24998 Puck with Rotating Frame of Reference
16 25966 Puck with Fixed Frame of Reference
17 29167 Puck with Centripetal/Centrifugal Force
18 31352 Puck with Fictitious Force
19 32055 The Earth and Fictitious Forces
20 34722 The Earth and the Foucault Pendulum
21 38302 Summary
22 39548 Frames of Reference Credits
23 39976 AAPT Credits

Disclaimer: All demonstrations are posted for the convenience and benefit of faculty and staff in the Department of Physics at Simon Fraser University and are not intended for outside use. The author(s) assume no responsibility or liability for the use of information contained on this site. Warnings and precautionary measures listed on this site assume normal operation of equipment and are not inclusive. Demonstrations may pose a significant hazard and can, in some instances, result in death; reasonable safety precautions must be taken. Demonstrations should be performed by qualified individuals only.

Prepared by Jeff Rudd, 1999
Revised by Laura Schmidt, 2007

Home > A/V Material