##### Table of Contents

Mass is the amount of matter in a body, whereas weight is the strength with which gravity pulls on that matter. Mass is an inherent characteristic of the body that remains constant regardless of where the body is. Whereas weight is a force, the formula for force is (Mass * Acceleration). An object’s weight is determined by multiplying its mass by gravitational acceleration. The weight of the body varies according to its location. Let us find out the difference between mass and weight.

## What is mass?

You can determine an object’s mass by the amount of matter it contains. It is a quantitative measure of the resistance of a body to acceleration. It can be compared to the resistance of tableware when you remove the tablecloth.

The body’s mass will always be the same regardless of where it is, implying that it is an inherent amount of matter.

Mass is a broad property of matter that is affected by the quantity and size of the system under consideration. This means that if we have an object with a mass of 1 kg, we subtract 0.1 kg because the mass will not equal the original object.

## What is weight?

Weight is defined as the gravitational force exerted on an object by Earth or any other celestial body. This is equal to the product of the object’s mass and the value of the local gravitational acceleration, P = m.g.

On Earth, the acceleration constant is 9.8 m/s 2. The formula can mean that the weight is proportional to the object’s mass. Weight is a vector quantity because it has the qualities of intensity, direction, and sense. As such, weight is a measure resulting from the action of gravity on a body, and weight is a variable value.

## How are the terms related?

Weight and mass are related; bodies with a lot of mass also have a lot of weight. A large object, for example, is difficult to throw due to its weight. To understand the weight-mass relationship, consider that a freely falling body has an acceleration of magnitude ‘g.’

Newton’s second law states that a force must be present for gravitational acceleration. For example, if a body of mass 1 kg falls with an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second square, the magnitude of the required force is given as

F=ma

=(1kg)(9.8 m/s²)

=9.8kgm/s²

=9.8N

The force that causes the body to accelerate downward is known as its weight.

Anyone with a mass of 1kg near the Earth’s surface must weigh 9.8 N to provide the acceleration.

## Measurement of mass vs. weight

Weight is measured using a scale, which effectively measures the Earth’s gravitational pull on the mass. A body’s mass is calculated by balancing it equally with another known amount of mass. We use a pan balance to measure mass, while a spring balance can measure weight. It is possible to switch methods if gravity is known and constant, as it is on Earth.

## How does gravity affect mass and weight?

The weight of an object is determined by the gravity at that place, whereas mass is always constant regardless of time and place. For example, if an object weighs 60 kg, its weight is 600 Newtons; however, if you transport this object to the Moon, its weight is 100 Newtons because the gravity of the Moon is one-sixth that of the Earth. However, the mass of that object will remain constant. Weight varies while the mass remains constant.

## What are the types of mass and weight?

From a scientific standpoint, understand that mass and weight are magnitudes with which the matter contained in a body and the force exerted by gravity on it are measured. The most well-known and widely used types are-

- Atomic mass- Atomic mass is the mass of an atom.
- Molar mass- It is the mass of one mole of a substance.
- Molecular mass- It is the mass of a molecule of a substance.
- Inertial mass- This physical magnitude denotes the resistance of a body to a change in speed.
- Body mass- It refers to a person’s body mass.
- Atomic weight- This term refers to an element’s average atomic mass.

## Difference between mass and weight

Sr. no | Mass | Weight |

1. | The amount of matter in a body is defined as its mass. | Weight is the force exerted on the body due to the gravitational pull of another body, such as the earth, the sun, and the moon. |

2. | Mass is an internal property of a body. | Weight is an external property of a body. |

3. | Mass is the measure of inertia. | Weight is the measure of force. |

4. | The mass of a body remains constant all across the universe. | The local acceleration determines a body’s weight due to gravity where it is placed. |

5. | A body’s mass can never be zero. | A body’s weight could be zero. |

6. | The kilogram is the metric unit of mass (kg). | Because weight is a force, its SI unit is the newton (N). |

7. | The body’s mass can be measured using a beambalance and a pan balance. | The weight of a body can be calculated using a spring balance and a weighing machine. |

## Key takeaways

- Physics is a fascinating subject that needs focus and passion. The difference between mass and weight is a part of physics.
- Mass is the amount of matter in a body, whereas weight is the strength that gravity pulls on that matter.
- Galileo Galilei put his efforts into discovering inertial and gravitational mass.

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Liked this blog? Read next: Concepts of physics that everyone should know of!

## FAQs

**Q1. Who invented physics?**

**Answer-** Albert Einstein, Max Plank, and Isaac Newton were among history’s greatest physicists. However, several other scientists came long before them and made significant contributions to the field.

**Q2. Who is the father of modern physics?**

**Answer-** Galileo Galilei is the father of modern physics.

**Q3. Who invented density?**

**Answer-** Greek mathematician and engineer Archimedes invented the concept of density.