Definition of Mach's principle in English:

Mach's principle

Pronunciation /mäks prinsipl/ /mɑks prɪnsɪpl/


  • The hypothesis that a body's inertial mass results from its interaction with the rest of the matter in the universe.

    ‘According to Mach, the slopping of your drink in the lurching aeroplane is attributable to the influence of all the matter in the Universe-an idea that became known as Mach's principle.’
    • ‘Working with his graduate student Carl Brans, Dicke incorporated Mach's principle into an alternate theory of gravity by adding an extra term to Einstein's equations.’
    • ‘Sciama was very keen on Mach's principle, the idea that objects owe their inertia to the influence of all the other matter in the universe.’
    • ‘Einstein also had philosophical reasons for preferring large-scale smoothness, stemming from an idea called Mach's principle.’
    • ‘Instead, Mach's principle is realized wholly within general relativity, in a way that ties in with string theory and the black hole membrane paradigm.’