Mass and
weight are two commonly used terms in Physics. In the beginning, most of the
students think that mass and weight are synonyms of each other. It is not a
fact. Because mass and weight are two different terms. Mass is known as the
property of a body and weight is the force acting on a body. To clearly
understand the difference between mass and weight, we have to take an overview
of different parameters.

#
Difference Between Mass and Weight

Mass and
weight are different from each other based on different parameters. Here, we
compare these parameters one by one.

##
Ø
Difference Between Definitions of Mass and Weight

Mass is known as the property of
the matter and with the help of mass, we can easily measure the strength of the
gravitational attraction of a body. On the other hand, weight is the amount of
force that is acting on the body. This force can act on a body either due to
gravity or any kind of the reaction force.

##
Ø
Difference Between Their Quantities

As we know
that there are two types of physical quantities. First is known as the scalar
quantity and the second is known as the vector quantity. There is also a clear
difference between vector and scalar quantities. Mass of an object is a scalar
quantity. Its reason is that to measure the mass of an object, we just need
magnitude and unit. On the other hand, the weight of an object is a vector
quantity because if we want to measure the weight of an object, we need its
magnitude, unit and direction.

##
Ø
Difference Between Values of Mass and Weight

We can also
observe a clear difference between the values of these two terms. The value of
mass is the same at all the places because it doesn’t depend upon gravity.
Therefore, we can say that the mass of an object can never be zero. Conversely,
the weight of an object depends upon gravity. Therefore, it has different
values in different places. For example, the weight of an object has two
different values at Earth and Moon due to the difference in the values of
gravity. On the other hand, the mass of an object remains the same on the Earth
as well as on the Moon.

##
Ø
Different Values at Different Locations

If we change the location of an object, we
can’t see any kind of difference in the mass of an object. On the other hand,
if we change the location of an object, we can see a definite difference in the
weight of an object. If we go higher and higher, the value of gravity will
decrease. As a result, the weight of an object also decreases. Conversely, if
we are decreasing our altitude, the value of gravity will increase and we see a
definite increase in the value of the weight of an object.

##
Ø
The Difference Between Measuring Instruments of Mass
and Weight

It is a fact
that if we are going to measure anything, we require a measuring instrument. Similarly,
either we are going to measure the mass of an object or weight of an object, we
require measuring instruments. As mass and weight are two different terms,
therefore, there require two different measuring instruments to measure the
mass and weight. We can easily measure the mass of an object with the help of
an ordinary balance. On the other hand, to measure the weight of an object,
there requires spring balance.

##
Ø
Difference Between Their Units

A standard
for the measurement of an object is known as a unit. To measure the mass and
weight of an object, we have to use two different units. The SI (System
International) unit to measure the mass of an object is Kilogram and it is
abbreviated as Kg. On the other hand, the SI (System International) unit to
measure the weight of an object is Newton and it is abbreviated as N.

##
Ø
Difference Between Their Formulas

In Physics,
we can’t deny the importance of Mathematics because there require mathematical
formulas to measure different terms. The formula to measure the mass of an
object is given below;

Ø F = ma

Ø m = F/a

We can
easily measure the mass of an object if we know the values of force and
acceleration of this object. The formula to measure the weight of an object is
also given below;

Ø W = mg

We can easily
measure the weight of an object if we know the values of mass and gravity.

## Difference Between Mass and Weight in Tabular Form

With the
help of these formulas, it is also possible for us to convert the mass of an
object into weight and vice versa. For example, if the mass of an object is
10Kg, we can convert it into weight by using the formula W = mg;

W = 10*9.8 =
90.8N

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#
External Factors Affecting Mass and Weight

As we know
that mass is an intrinsic property of an object and that’s why there is no external
factor that can affect the mass of an object. On the other hand, the weight of
an object depends upon the mass of that object. Therefore, the force of
attraction can easily influence the value of the weight of that object. That’s
why if you are going to measure the quantity of an object, you should use mass
rather than weight. Its reason is that the mass of an object remains the same
at all the places, whereas, the weight of an object changes by changing the
altitude.

#
Why We Use Mass in The Formula to Measure Weight?

Most of the
students think that due to lots of differences between mass and weight, why we
are still using mass in the formula to measure weight. It answers that the
weight of an object is due to the gravitational force that attracts a body. If
the mass of an object is very small, the value of the gravitational force will
also be small. That’s why we can observe that a fog particle remains suspended
in the air. Due to this reason, we must use mass in the formula of the weight.
Another reason is that mass is the functional property of the matter and weight
is known as the consequence of that property.

To sum up,
we can say that mass and weight depends on each other. Greater the value of the
mass, greater will be its weight and vice versa. The main difference between
two terms is that mass is a constant quantity, whereas, the weight of an object
changes with the change in the altitude.

#
Tips to Calculate Weight from Mass

After knowing
the difference between mass and weight, you can easily calculate the weight
from the mass. Some essential tips to calculate weight from the mass are given
below;

##
Tips to Calculate the Weight

To calculate
the weight from the mass, you should follow these simple tips;

Ø You should use this formula ‘W = mg’
to convert the weight into the mass. Here, weight is also known as force.
Therefore, we can write the formula ‘W = mg’ as ‘F = mg’.

Ø Secondly, we have to figure out the
mass of the object. Its reason is that we have to put the value of the mass in
the equation to find weight.

Ø In the equation ‘W = mg’, ‘g’ is
known as gravitational acceleration. Therefore, to calculate the weight of the
object, you should also figure out the value of ‘g’. The value of ‘g’ is ‘9.8m/s2.

Ø At last, by plugging the values into
this equation, you can easily find out the value of the weight of an object.

##
Sample Problem to Calculate Weight

After knowing
the steps to calculate the weight of an object, you can easily solve the
problem to calculate the weight. Here, we will discuss the steps to calculate the
weight of an object. If an object has 200 kilograms mass, calculate the weight
of the object. The steps to calculate this problem is given below;

Solution:

Ø Mass of the object = 200 kg

Ø Gravitational acceleration = g = 9.8m/s2

Ø Formula: W = mg

Ø W = 200*9.8

Ø W = 1960N

##
Tips to Catch the Mistakes

Some people
make some mistakes while solving these problems. You can easily catch mistakes
in your problem by following these simple steps;

Ø You should not confuse the mass and
weight. For this reason, you just remember that mass remains constant, whereas,
weight changes due to the change in gravity.

Ø You should use scientific units while
solving this problem. For example, the unit of mass is ‘kg’, the unit of gravitational
acceleration ‘g’ is m/s2 and the unit of weight is ‘N’.

Ø The answer to this question should be
in ‘N’ because the unit of weight is ‘N’.

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