Mass and weight are often confused as synonymous by people. Some, science students use this term interchangeably, which is not right. As a science student, it is necessary to know the difference between mass and weight. Here, we have discussed every bit of information related to the difference between mass and weight from the basic level so, even the novice in the topic can understand it easily.

What Are Mass and Weight?

Everything is made of matter, which is made of subatomic particles like protons, neutrons, and electrons. Simply said, the number of electrons, protons, and neutrons in an object is considered as its mass. Mass is a fundamental quantity in physics which means the amount of matter present in a body.
The International standard unit (S.I.) unit of mass is kilogram or kg. Also, it is important to note that the mass of a body always remains constant at all times.


A body’s weight is the amount of gravitational force exerted on it. Like mass, it is also a fundamental quantity in physics. The International standard unit (S.I.) of weight is Newton and its C.G.S unit is done. The equation to determine the weight of an object is w=mg. Here, in the equation the mass of the body remains constant on the other hand, acceleration due to gravity is variable and changes from place to place.

Difference Between Mass and Weight

S.No        Mass      Weight
1.Mass is simply the determination of the amount of matter present in a body.

Weight is the amount of force acting on a body due to gravitational force.

Mass cannot be zero.

If there is no gravity the weight of the object tends to be zero.

3.Since mass is a scalar quantity, it only possesses magnitude.

Weight has both magnitude and direction Therefore, vector quantity

4.Mass is denoted by using ‘M’.

Weight is denoted by ‘W’.

5.The dimensional derivation of mass is M

The dimensional derivation of weight is MLT-2

6.The formula for calculating mass is,
Mass= Volume x Density
The formula for calculating weight is
Weight= mass x acceleration due to gravity.

Details About Mass and Weight

Mass is the quantitative measure of inertia. In other words, it’s the resistance exerted by a body to a change in its position or speed when force is applied. Thus, the body with higher mass changes less when the force is applied. The S.I. unit of mass is kilogram but there are other units too such as pounds, tonnes, grams, and milligrams.

Weight is the force that is exerted due to the gravitational pull of the earth. This is the force that attracts a body towards it. Thus, the unit of force and weight are the same, However, the weight of an object directly depends on its mass. So, when we increase mass there will be an increase in weight too.

How Much Weight Do You Have on Other Planets?

The mass of a body remains the same irrespective, of place but the weight of a body changes due to gravity. The calculation of gravity on other planets, as on Earth, depends not only on mass but also on how far or near the surface is from the center of gravity. For example, on earth, your weight is a little lower in mountains than in plains. The effects become more intense for larger bodies, like Jupiter. The gravity exerted by Jupiter is 316 times greater than that of Earth, but the surface of Jupiter is so far from the center that you wouldn’t weigh 316 times more. Gravity values on different planets differ from those on Earth. Multiply your weight by their number to get the weight of that body.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

What Are the Two Differences Between Mass and Weight?

Some people may confuse mass and weight as synonymous but they have many differences. Some of them are
The mass of a body a never be zero while the weight of body can be zero in the absence of gravity.
Mass is a scalar quantity and has an S.I. unit kilogram while weight is a vector quantity and has an S.I. unit Newton.

What Instruments Are Used to Measure Mass?

We can measure mass using any ordinary balance such as beam balance, pan balance, lever balance, and many more.

What Is the Basic Difference Between Mass and Weight?

The mass may be defined as the amount of matter present in a body, while the weight of a body is the measurement of the amount of gravitational force acting on it.

What Is the Relation Between Weight and Mass?

Mass and weight are related to each other, The weight of a body is determined by Weight=mass x gravity i.e., W=mg. Therefore, it is clear that the weight of the body depends on its mass. Here, the mass of the body is constant and but the values of g are variable, change from place to place.

What Is the Formula of Mass and Weight?

Mass can be calculated using the formula, Mass=volume x density on the other hand, you can calculate weight by using the formula, Weight=mass x acceleration due to gravity(W=mg).


Mass and weight are not synonymous, Although, there are related to each other. You need the mass of a body to calculate its weight. Mass is the basic property of matter and the measure of the amount of substance present in a body on the other hand weight is the measurement of the amount of gravitational force acting on a body.