Inertial mass is a measure of the resistance of an entity to a change in its velocity relative to an inertial frame. Within classical physics the inertial mass of point particles is defined by means of the following equation for the subsequently described Machian thought experiment where particle 1 is taken as a unit (m1 =1):
- mi ai1 = m1 a1i,
The equation defines the inertial mass of particle i in terms of the assumed measurable mutually induced accelerations ai1 and a1i. The remaining constraints on the accelerations, that the above defining equation still holds at different initial distances and when generated by the paring of particles with other than particle 1, can be taken as requirements for the experimental validity of the theory's dynamics, cf. momentum conservation.