Difference between Mass and Weight is Mass is a measure of Inertia and Weight is a measure of Force. Many often tend to use these two terms in the same manner. However, this is not correct at all. We will help you study the multiple differences that are between mass and weight. Thus, we will start by defining the respective terms to set a strong base. Only after knowing what they are can you understand their differences. So, let’s dive right in!
Definition of Mass
In simpler words, we can say that mass refers to how much material an object consists of. For instance, the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons in an item can be said to be the measure of the mass. Thus, mass refers to both, the property of a physical body as well as the measure of the resistance of the object to acceleration when we apply a net force. Moreover, the common units for mass are kilograms and grams.
Definition of Weight
The weight of an object refers to the force which is acting on an object because of gravity. You will find some people defining it as a vector quantity, the gravitational force which acts on the object. While some also define it as the scalar quantity which is the magnitude of the gravitational force. So, we see the gravitational interaction between objects having mass and when the object interacts with the Earth, that force will be the weight. Weight’s unit is Newton and pound.
Difference between Mass and Weight
|Basis of Comparison||Mass||Weight|
|Definition||It is the measure of the amount of matter present a body.||It refers to the measure of the amount of force that acts on mass because of the pull of gravity.|
|Meaning||Mass is the measure of inertia.||Weigh is the measure of force.|
|Location||It stays the same everywhere, irrespective of location.||Weight will vary depending on the location.|
|Physical Quantity||Mass is a scalar quantity. It has magnitude.||It is a vector quantity. It’s got the magnitude and directs toward the Earth’s centre or other gravity.|
|Gravitational Effect||It can never be zero.||It can be zero when no gravity is acting on it.|
|SI Unit||The SI unit of mass is the kilogram (kg).||Weight’s SI unit is Newton (N).|
|Measurement||We measure it using an ordinary balance. For instance, pan balance, beam balance, etc.||We can measure weight using a spring balance.|
|Denotation||‘M’ is used to denote Mass.||We use ‘W’ to denote weight.|
|Formula||To calculate mass, we use- mass = volume × density||The formula for calculating weight is- weight= mass × acceleration due to gravity|
More details about Mass
Now that we are clear on the difference between mass and weight, let’s learn a little more about mass. It can be referred to as the quantitative measure of inertia. Thus, we see that it’s the resistance offered by a body of matter to a change in its speed or position when force is applied.
Thus, the greater the mass a body has, the smaller will be the change which happens when we apply force. While kg is the internationally recognized unit of mass, there are other units too like gram, milligram, tonnes, and pounds.
More details about Weight
Weight is the force that the gravitational pull of the earth is responsible for. It is what attracts an object or body towards it. Thus, the weight’s unit is equal to the force’s unit as the weight and force are the same.
Moreover, the weight of an object directly relates to its mass. Thus, when the mass will increase, there will be an increase in weight too.
FAQs about Mass and Weight
Question 1: What do we use to denote mass and weight?
Answer 1: We use ‘m’ to denote mass and ‘w’ to denote weight.
Question 2: What instruments can we use to measure mass?
Answer 2: We can measure mass through the use of any ordinary balance like beam balance, lever balance, pan balance, and so on.
Question 3: What is the difference between mass and weight in terms of quantity type?
Answer 3: Mass is a base quantity whereas weight is a derived quantity.