Mach’s Gravity

Mach’s principle is a hypothesis in physics that explores the relationship between inertia and the distribution of mass in the universe. It was proposed by the Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach in the late 19th century.


Mach’s principle challenges the idea of absolute space and absolute motion, which were central concepts in Newtonian mechanics. In this view, an object’s inertia (its resistance to acceleration) was considered an intrinsic property of the object itself. Mach, however, suggested that inertia might be relative and somehow determined by the presence and distribution of other matter in the universe.

Basic tenets:

Relational Inertia: Inertia is not an absolute property of an object but arises due to the interaction of the object with the rest of the universe.

Mach’s Thought Experiment: Imagine a lone object spinning in empty space. According to Mach’s principle, the object wouldn’t experience any centrifugal force because there would be no reference frame to define “rotation.”


Challenge to Absolute Space: Mach’s principle questions the existence of absolute space, a concept that had been criticized by philosophers for centuries.

Connection to Gravity: The principle suggests a link between inertia and gravity, which Einstein later explored in his development of general relativity.


Lack of Clear Mechanism: Mach’s principle doesn’t provide a clear explanation of how the distribution of mass influences inertia

Difficulties in Verification: It’s challenging to design experiments to definitively test or prove Mach’s principle

Free Space Related Informationn:

Since Mach’s principle suggests a relationship between inertia and the distribution of mass, it has implications for the concept of “empty space.” In a truly empty universe with no matter, Mach’s principle suggests that inertia might not exist, or it might be undefined.


Mach’s principle, while not a mainstream theory of physics itself, has been influential in the development of general relativity. It raises important questions about the nature of inertia, gravity, and the relationship between matter and space. While there’s no definitive proof of Mach’s principle, it continues to be a topic of discussion and research in theoretical physics.