Distinction between Mass and Weight of an Object

Distinction between Mass and Weight of an Object

  • Understand that mass refers to the amount of matter within an object. It remains constant for a given object irrespective of its location, i.e., whether it is on Earth, Moon, or in outer space.

  • Recognize that weight is the force exerted by gravity on the object’s mass. It is dependent on the gravitational field strength of the location.

  • Keep in mind that the unit of mass is kilogramme (kg) while weight is measured in newtons (N).

  • Know that mass can be identified through its inertia - the reluctance to change its current state of motion or rest. Greater the mass, greater is the inertia.

  • Remember, weight can be calculated by multiplying the mass of the object by the gravitational field strength (g); Weight = mass x g.

  • Be aware that weight, being a force, has a direction - it always acts towards the centre of the gravity of the celestial body.

  • Understand that the weight of an object will change on other planets or on the moon due to differing gravitational pull, however, the mass will remain the same.

  • Lastly, realise that a bathroom scale actually measures the force (weight) exerted by a body, not the amount of matter (mass) within it.