Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

7060Re: weight vs. mass

Expand Messages
  • livingston@seznam.cz
    Jul 2, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      > In normal speech, weight is still the commoner way of expressing what is
      > more correctly termed mass. But I've never used it as an equivalent for

      I have a vague recollection from high school chemistry class that there
      actually is a scientific distinction between "mass" and "weight": "Mass"
      is something that is unaffected by gravity, while "weight" depends on
      gravity. Hence we say something is "weightless" when it is in orbit, or
      that it "weighs" 1/6 (or is it 1/16? some fraction, anyway) of its "normal"
      (i.e. earth) weight when it is on the moon. However, its "mass" is the
      same, regardless of where it happens to be.

      For convenience, the "mass" of any particular body is generally expressed
      in the same terms as the "weight" that same body has when here on earth, at
      sea level. And, indeed, I suspect that in many contexts this entire
      distinction is completely irrelevant.

      Nathan Cutler
      E = MC^2
    • Show all 5 messages in this topic