Difference Between Mass And Weight

The terms “mass” and “weight” are related in casual conversation, Mass is the measure of the amount of matter in a body. Mass is denoted using m or M. but the two words do not mean the same thing. The weight is that mass is the amount of matter in material while weight is a measure of how the gravitational force acts on that mass. the other difference between these two quantities is that Mass is a measure of Inertia and Weight is a measure of Force.

Definition of Mass :

difference between mass and weight
Mass Vs Weight

 Mass is simply the measure of the amount of matter or inertia in a body. the SI units of mass are kilograms and grams.

Definition of Weight :

The force with which a body is attracted to Earth or another celestial body and which is equal to the product of the object’s mass and the acceleration of gravity. A measure of the heaviness of an object. the SI units of weight are Newton and pound.

Key Difference Between Mass And Weight:



Mass is the amount of matter contained in a physical body. Weight is the gravitational force with which a physical body is attracted toward the center of the earth.
It is one of the fundamental properties of matter. Weight is not a fundamental quantity.
The mass has magnitude but there is no direction, so it is a scalar quantity. Weight has both magnitude and direction, so it is a vector quantity.
Mass of the body is independent of the location where it is measured. The weight of the body varies depending on the location of measurement
A matter has a constant mass in the entire universe. Acceleration changes with the location.
Mass is measured using a pan balance, inertial balance or an electronic balance. Weight is measured using a spring balance.
Its SI unit is kilogram or gram SI unit of weight is Newton (N)
Dimensional Formula of Mass id [M]. The dimensional formula of weight is [MLT-2]

What is the relation between mass and weight?

the relation between weight and mass can be derived with the help of Newton’s second law which explains that the free-falling object has an acceleration “g” as the magnitude. If an object of a mass of 1kg falls with an acceleration of 9.8 m.s-2, then the magnitude of the force is given as :


F = ma

= (1kg)(9.8m.s-2)
= (9.8 kg.m.s-2)
= 9.8N

it can be concluded that the relationship between mass and weight of a body with 1kg mass will have a weight of 9.8N.

Read also: Difference between mass and weight in tabular form

External Factors Affecting Weight

Mass is an intrinsic measure of an object and hence is independent of any external factors. Weight, on the other hand, depends on the mass that is attracting it and the force with which it is being attracted.

  • Weight is the measure of the amount of force acting on a mass due to the acceleration due to gravity. Weight usually is denoted by W. Weight is mass multiplied by the acceleration of gravity (g).

How is Weight Measured?

the formula of a body that has a mass m and weight of magnitude w that can be said that the weight of an object is directly proportional to its mass.

w = mg

Types of Mass and Weight

The scientific point of view, understanding that mass and weight are magnitudes with which the matter contained in a body and the force exerted by gravity on it are respectively measured, the types of these that are best known and used are:

  • Atomic mass: The mass of an atom.
  • Molar mass: The mass of one mole of a substance.
  • Molecular mass: The mass of a molecule of a substance.
  • Atomic weight: It is the average mass of the atoms of an element.
  • Molecular weight: It is the result of the sum of the atomic weights of the elements that make up a compound.


The difference between mass and weight is one of the most frequently asked questions. Some students often use the terms mass and weight interchangeably, which is completely wrong. it is important to know what they are and how they are related. The mass of a body does not change at any time. Only for certain extreme cases when a huge amount of energy is given or taken from a body.

Physics Differences:

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