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VisionaryLen December 8th, 2016 10:07 PM

Can Something Rotate Relative to Itself?
If there was a ball by itself in the universe and nothing else existed, would it be possible for the ball to spin? As far as I know from relativity, the ball could not move in position or translation specifically. But could the ball rotate, and if not how is centrifugal force possible???

As far as I theorize, the sphere could rotate relative to itself, you just couldn't measure it since rotation leaves all distances intact.

romsek December 8th, 2016 10:25 PM

this may be of interest

VisionaryLen December 8th, 2016 10:55 PM


Originally Posted by romsek (Post 556270)

Yesss! This is very helpful! Thanks!

AshBox December 19th, 2016 10:13 PM

I think it is indeed open to some debate, and I won't be able to provide a definitive answer, but I'll try to touch on some of the ideas involved.

Isaac Newton posed a similar thought experiment to yours, which he used to argue that there is such a thing as absolute rotation. He would have agreed with your friend who says that an object can "rotate relative to itself" (although I think that's a somewhat awkward way of putting it).

Check out this article:

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