chapter  4
2 Pages

## The Galileian System of Co-ordinates

As is well known, the fundamental law of the mechanics of Galilei-Newton, which is known as the law of inertia, can be stated thus: A body removed suﬃciently far from other bodies continues in a state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line. This law not only says something about the motion of the bodies, but it also indicates the reference-bodies or systems of co-ordinates, permissible in mechanics, which can be used in mechanical description. The visible ﬁxed stars are bodies for which the law of inertia certainly holds to a high degree of approximation. Now if we use a system of co-ordinates which is rigidly attached to the earth, then, relative to this system, every ﬁxed star describes a circle of immense radius in the course of an astronomical day, a result which is opposed to the statement of the law of inertia. So that if we adhere to this law we must refer these motions only to systems of co-ordinates relative to which the ﬁxed stars do not move in a circle. A system of co-ordinates of which the state of motion is such that the law of inertia holds