The Universal Frame of Reference

A frame of reference means a point of view. In physics, it forms the basis of motion. The frame itself is assumed to be at rest. Relative to the frame a body can be at rest, move at a constant velocity, or have acceleration. This video provides an excellent demonstration of frame of reference.

Since we live on Earth, we use Earth as our frame of reference. This local frame is adequate for all motion observed on the surface of Earth. It, however, makes the motion of planets very complex. When we use Sun as our frame of reference, the motion of the planets becomes simple and consistent. We can now see that the Earth itself is moving as a planet around the sun. When we use the center of galaxy as our frame of reference, we find that the Sun is also moving along with the solar system.


Local and universal

When motion is viewed through another motion, such as, viewing the moving planets from a moving earth, our frame of reference is local. But when we view motion as an intrinsic property existing universally like the property of mass, our frame of reference is universal.

From Earth to Sun to the galaxy, the frame of reference is becoming broader but it is still local. The broader is the frame of reference, the more consistent is the relationship among observed motion. From this point of view, the broadest frame of reference shall provide complete consistency among all motion. But the broadest frame of reference is not from some center within the universe.

The universal frame of reference is viewing motion as an intrinsic property existing universally.


Universal Frame and Density

In Newton’s time the fixed stars were invoked as a reference frame, which was assumed to be at absolute rest. This comes closest to visualizing in a universal frame of reference.

The universe provides the broadest frame of reference to all things within it. Beyond the universe there is simply void. Within this universe matter has the highest density and light has none. (see Matter, Void and Space).

Matter itself has a gradient of density. For example, the core of the nucleus of an atom may have the highest density. The same could be reasoned for the core of a neutron star, or a black hole. At the other end of the spectrum, light itself may have a gradient of density even when its negligible. The density of light is related to its frequency. This density goes to zero as frequency goes to zero. Light of zero frequency is the void. So, we may relate zero density with the void. So there is a scale of density from void to matter. Substance is defined by the presence of density.

In the universal frame of reference, substance is defined by a scale of density from zero of void to infinity of black hole.


Universal Frame and Motion

Infinite density appears to be related to absolute rest as in the case of Newton’s fixed stars. Matter has a gradient of density at the upper end of the scale, where we have the slowest motion. Light has a gradient of density at the lower end of the scale, where we have the fastest motion. This shows that there is an inverse relationship between density and motion. This is visualized in the following sketch.

The higher is the density, the lower is the intrinsic motion.

Light has very high speed, but it is not infinite. This means that light must have density even if infinitesimal. Einstein’s assertion that light has no mass may be interpreted as follows:

  1. The density of light is insignificant and negligible compared to the density of matter, or
  2. Light does not have the property of “center of mass”. 

Thus, infinite speed shall relate to void that has zero density, and absolute rest may relate to black hole, if it has infinite density.

In the universal frame of reference, there is an inverse scale of motion (speed) from infinity of void to zero of black hole



Matter has very high density, and it endures at any location for a long time. That is why its intrinsic motion is very low. The inverse is true for light that has negligible density, no endurance and high intrinsic motion. This provides us with a new understanding of time as “duration of substance.”

Time is the duration of substance. It is directly proportional to density, and inversely proportional to intrinsic motion.


The Dimensions

We may sum up the basic concepts of physics as follows:

  1. The starting concept is SUBSTANCE with the dimension of DENSITY.
  2. SPACE is defined by the extents of substance
  3. TIME is defined by the duration of substance

The Universal Frame of reference is based on the concept of substance and the dimensions of density, space and time as defined above. Density, time (duration) and motion are interchangeable as dimensions.

Each location has three dimensions of space and a fourth dimension of density, time (duration) or intrinsic motion.

Locations of infinite density shall have infinite duration and they shall act as points of absolute rest. They shall act as reference points for surrounding motion. That is why we find black holes at the center of galaxies; and heavy nucleus at the center of atom.


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  • vinaire  On March 20, 2020 at 9:39 AM

    In my opinion, speed depends on relative duration of particles. The background of space is considered to have infinite duration. Anything with lesser duration will appear as moving against this background. Anything closer to infinite duration will appear as still against this background.

    The duration depends on inertia. Therefore, the relative motion of objects shall depend on relative inertia. The higher the inertia, the lesser is the speed. Light has hardly any inertia. Therefore, its speed is near infinite compared to the speed of a star.

    Two photons will have the same speed because their inertia is the same. Their speed will be less than that of light because they have more inertia than light. Their motion would be like two waves traveling in a pond, and their collision will be like the collision of two waves. There are going to be interference patterns, which are perceived as “quantum particles.”

    Their relative speed will be like the relative speed of two waves.


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