5 Major Difference between Mass and Weight

What is the Difference Between Mass and Weight?

  • The essence of mass and weight are two different physical quantities, but they are closely related and established by the formula F=ma of Newton’s second law.
  • Mass and weight are often confused between the two physical quantities.
  • Mass is the quantity of matter contained in a substance.
  • Mass is the basic property of matter, while the weight of matter is the force of gravity applied to the object by the gravitational field in which it is located.
  • No matter how microscopic an object may be, it has some mass, and mass has weight.
  • There is no such thing as a mass. Weight may vary from place to place, as gravity may vary from place to place. But the mass of that substance in the universe remains the same. There is no change in it. If the force of gravity is the same, then the weight changes in proportion to the mass
  • For example, the weight of a ten-kilogram object on the earth is one hundred newtons. The weight of objects on the moon is only one-sixth of the weight on the earth, but the mass remains the same no matter which planet it is on.
  • Mass is a scalar, weight is a vector with magnitude and direction
  • In the International System of Units, the unit of mass is the kilogram and the unit of weight is the Newton.
  • The mass is measured with a balance. The weight is measured with a spring balance.
  • Mass in Newtonian mechanics is a constant, and weight varies with the latitude and altitude of an object.


Difference Between Mass and Weight with Examples

Mass is simply the measure of the amount of matter in a body.Weight is the measure of the amount of force acting on a mass due to acceleration due to gravity.
Mass is denoted by “M”.Weight is denoted by “W”.
Mass is calculated by the formula Mass = volume × densityWeight is calculated by the formula Weight = mass ×
acceleration due to gravity
Mass only has magnitude and so, it is a scalar quantity.Weight has both magnitude and direction (towards the center of gravity) and so, it is a vector quantity.
Mass does not depend upon gravity and is constant everywhere.Weight is dependent on gravity and so, it varies from place to place.
The SI unit of mass is Kilogram (Kg).The SI unit of weight is Newton (N).
Mass can be easily measured using any ordinary balance like beam balance, lever balance, pan balance, etc.Weight can be measured by a spring balance or by using its formula.
It can never be zeroIt can be zero when no gravity is acting on it.
It is not changed by changing the position.;It is changed by changing the position.

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