Difference Between Mass and Weight

One of the most frequently asked questions is the difference between weight and weight. Some students often use the words “mass and weight” interchangeably, which is not entirely correct. There are many differences between mass and weight detailed here.

Before moving on to the differences between mass and weight, it is important to understand what they are and how they are related. For mass and weight details, enter mass and weight.

Here, the comparison and contrast between mass and weight in the examples are given in the form of a table below.

Sl. No. Differentiating Property Mass Weight
1 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.
2 Denotation
  • Mass is denoted by “M”.
  • Weight is denoted by “W”.
3 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.
  • Weight can be calculated from the following formula:

Weight = mass × acceleration due to gravity

4 Quantity Type
  • Mass is a base quantity.
  • Mass only has magnitude and so, it is a scalar quantity.
  • Weight is a derived quantity.
  • Weight has both magnitude and direction (towards the centre of gravity) and so, it is a vector quantity.
5 Unit of Measurement
  • The SI unit of mass is Kilogram (Kg).
  • The SI unit of weight is Newton (N).
6 Gravitational Effect
  • Mass does not depend upon gravity and is constant everywhere.
  • Mass can never be zero.
  • Weight is dependent on gravity and so, it varies from place to place.
  • Weight can be zero where there is no gravity (like space).
7 Measuring Instrument
  • 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.

This was a huge difference in weight and weight that confused many students. It is important to know this topic in detail because it is an important part of the mechanical part of physics. Questions based on differences in mass and weight are often included in competitive exams as well.

Students should also have a good understanding of the basic concepts of mass and weight. In addition, formulas for determining weight and mass are crucial from an examination point of view. See the articles below to easily understand weights and weights and their formulas.

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