A reference frame is in principle a rigid structure embodying a 3D coordinate system. It represents an observer at rest with complete access to rods and clocks to measure length and duration in any direction:
Such a reference frame may be the framework or infrastructure for a reference probe moving like a miniature aerial tram in any direction. A probe is a “small, unmanned exploratory craft”. Such a reference probe compared with a target motion can measure either the extent of the framework crossed by the target, which is the length, or the extent of the framework crossed by the reference probe, which is the duration. The rate of the target motion is the ratio of the length to the duration or the ratio of the duration to the length.
Alternatively, the reference frame may be the framework or infrastructure for a reference system of probes moving in all directions. The motion of such a system can be given by a table of changes, which are the intersections of consecutive trips, called “times”, and consecutive stations, called “stances”:
Table of Changes
|change 1,1||change 1,2|
|change 2,1||change 2,2|
A target motion can be measured as the number of stances, which is the length, or as the number of times, which is the duration. The rate of the target motion is the ratio of the length to the duration or the ratio of the duration to the length.
What if one reference framework is moving with respect to another reference framework? The motion of a framework is no different than the motion of an object as observed by a reference framework. How can one compare the observation of an object from one framework with that of another framework? That requires applying the appropriate transformation, Galilean, dual Galilean, Lorentz, or dual Lorentz.