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inertial force



  1. The force produced by the reaction of a body to an accelerating force, equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the accelerating force. An inertial force lasts only as long as the accelerating force does.

  2. A force that must be added to the equations of motion when Newton's laws are used in a rotating or otherwise accelerating frame of reference. It is sometimes described as a fictional force because when the same motion is solved in the frame of the external world, the inertial force does not appear.

Related category

   • CLASSICAL MECHANICS