Difference Between Weight and Mass?

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The terms “mass” and “weight” can be used interchangeably in daily conversations, but the two words have different meanings. The difference between mass and weight is that mass is the amount of matter in a material, and weight is a measure of how gravity acts on that mass.

Mass is a measure of the amount of matter in the body. The mass is represented by m or M. Weight is a measure of the force acting on a mass due to gravitational acceleration. Weight is usually expressed by W. Weight is the mass multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity (g).

W=mg

So here is a quick breakdown of weight and mass:

MassWeight
Mass is simply the measure of the amount of matter in a body. The mass of an object is the same everywhere.Weight is a measure of the force acting on a mass due to gravitational acceleration. Weight increases or decreases with higher or lower gravity.
Mass can never be zero.If there is no gravity acting on the object, the weight can be zero, just like in space.
Mass does not change according to location.Weight varies according to location.
Mass is a scalar quantity. It has magnitude.Weight is a vector quantity. It has magnitude and is directed toward the center of the Earth or other gravity well.
Mass may be measured using an ordinary balance like beam balance, lever balance, pan balance, etc.Weight is measured using a spring balance.
Mass usually is measured in grams and kilograms.Weight often is measured in newtons, a unit of force.

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Arbaj Demrot is the founder of VideRime Online Learning, a leading engineering website. He did his BE Civil and M.Tech Structure from RGPV University, Bhopal and has been working as an Assistant Professor in a reputed college.

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