The difference between mass and weight is one of the most frequently asked questions among physics students. In fact, some students often use the terms mass and weight interchangeably, which is completely incorrect. mass and weight in tabular form
To help you pick out these differences, in this article we go into all the distinctions between these two physical concepts in depth . So let’s start with a recurring Greek question. mass and weight in tabular form
Is mass and weight the same?
As we have discussed, mass and weight are completely different physical entities of objects. Mass is not the same as the weight of an object. Look, below we show you the main difference.
Main Difference mass and weight in tabular form
What is the difference between the concepts of weight and mass ?
We show them in the following comparative table.
|Definition||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.|
|Symbol||The mass is denoted by “M”.||Weight is indicated by “P”.|
|Formula||Mass is always constant for a body and there are several formulas to calculate mass . One way to calculate mass is:
Mass = volume × density
|Weight is the measure of the gravitational force acting on a body. It can be calculated with the following formula:
Weight = mass × acceleration due to gravity
|Value type||Mass is a base value. It only has magnitude and, therefore, it is a scalar quantity.||Weight is a derived value. It has magnitude and direction (towards the center of gravity) and is therefore a vector quantity.|
|Unit of measurement||The SI unit of mass is Kilogram (Kg).||The SI unit of weight is Newton (N).|
|Gravitational effect||Mass does not depend on gravity and is constant everywhere. Its value can never be zero.||Weight depends on gravity and therefore varies from place to place. Its value can be zero where there is no gravity (like space).|
|Measuring instrument||Mass can be easily measured using any ordinary balance like beam balance, lever balance, plate balance, etc.||Weight can be measured with a spring scale or using its formula.|
These were the main differences between mass and weight that confuse many students. It is important to know this topic in detail, as it is a crucial part of mechanics in physics.
Often times, questions based on differences in mass and weight are also included in competitive exams.
Students are also required to have a thorough understanding of the basics of mass and weight. In addition, the formulas for determining weight and mass are crucial from an examination point of view.