Mass Vs Weight
Mass is a fundamental property representing the quantity of matter contained within an object. It remains constant regardless of the object's position or location. Mass is an inherent and abstract property, independent of external factors, defining the object's response to forces and acceleration.
On the other hand, weight is the force exerted by an object when it exists in a gravitational field. Unlike mass, weight varies with the object's position and location due to the influence of gravity. Any object's weight is the force that pulls it towards the ground. As the strength of gravity differs depending on the object's location or altitude, its weight will fluctuate accordingly.
In the context of Newton's second law of motion, the force acting on an object (F) is equal to the product of its mass (M) and its acceleration (A). Hence, F = M * A.
When we consider weight (W) in the context of gravity, weight is simply the force (F) experienced by an object due to the gravitational field. Therefore, weight (W) can be expressed as W = M * G, where G represents the acceleration due to gravity.
As you correctly pointed out, in an environment where an object experiences freefall (e.g., inside an airplane in freefall or a spacecraft in orbit), both the object and its support experience the same acceleration. This shared acceleration results in both moving at the same speed, causing the object to exert zero force on its support, leading to a state of apparent weightlessness.
This concept of weightlessness is of significant importance in various fields, including space exploration and aviation. Understanding how forces, masses, and accelerations interact allows scientists and engineers to design and operate spacecraft, airplanes, and other vehicles in a manner that enables unique and extraordinary experiences like weightlessness.
- Independent of Gravity.
- Can never be zero.
- Scalar and base quantity.
- Ordinary balance is used in measurement.
- Measured in grams and kilograms.
- Resists motion.
- Dependant of Gravity.
- When no gravity acts upon the body, it can be zero.
- Vector and derived quantity.
- Measured using a spring balance.
- Expressed in Newton (N).
- Produce motion.
Mass is an invariant and intrinsic property of an object, representing the amount of matter it contains. On the contrary, weight is a variable quantity determined by the gravitational force acting on the object, leading to changes in weight based on its position and location. Understanding the distinction between mass and weight is vital in various scientific and engineering disciplines, as they play different roles in calculations and real-world applications.