Weight Mass

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Mass and weight are two distinct physical characteristics that are frequently mixed up. The difference ‌between them is as follows:

  • The quantity of matter in an object is expressed in terms of mass. Considering that it is a scalar quantity, it has only magnitude and no direction. The kilogram (kg) is the unit of mass that conforms to the International System of Units (SI).
  • Weight is the force that gravity applies to an object. Given that it is a vector quantity, it has both magnitude and direction. The newton (N) in the SI is the weight measuring unit. The weight of an object is equal to its mass multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity.

In other words, weight measures the gravitational force that acts on an object, whereas mass measures how much "stuff" it is made of. Although they are not the same, these two quantities are related.

For example, consider a rock and a feather. The rock and the feather have the same mass, but the rock has a much greater weight because it is denser and therefore has more mass packed into a smaller volume. When you weigh an object on a scale, the scale measures the weight of the object, not its mass.

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