Weight Converter

Calculator; Kilogram (kg), Gram (g), Pounds (lb), Ounces (oz), Type the value of any of the units and the calculator will calculate the other units for you.

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About Mass and Weight

What is Mass?

Definition and Key Facts Mass is a fundamental property of matter that quantifies the amount of substance in an object. It is a measure of inertia and resistance to acceleration that remains constant regardless of location. Here are some key facts about mass:

  • Mass is an intrinsic property independent of external factors like other objects or surroundings.
  • Mass indicates resistance to changes in motion (inertia). More mass means more inertia.
  • Mass is a scalar quantity with magnitude but no direction. Unlike vector quantities like velocity.
  • According to the law of conservation of mass, mass remains constant in a closed system despite physical/chemical changes.
  • The SI unit for mass is the kilogram (kg). Smaller masses can be in grams and larger in metric tons.
  • Mass is different from weight. Mass is constant while weight changes depending on gravity.
  • Mass is conserved in closed systems and governs motion per Newton's laws. Essential for physics, chemistry, and more.

What is Weight?

How It Differs from Mass Weight is the force exerted on an object due to gravity. It differs from mass and depends on gravitational field strength. Key facts:

  • Weight is the gravitational force acting on an object's mass. Directed downwards to a celestial body's center.
  • Weight has both magnitude and direction. A vector quantity unlike mass.
  • Weight's SI unit is the Newton (N). Can also be expressed in pounds or kgf.
  • An object's weight depends on its mass and the local gravitational field strength. More mass or gravity means more weight.
  • Weight varies in different gravitational fields while mass stays constant. Weighs less on Moon than Earth.
  • Weight and mass are related but distinct. Weight is calculated as mass x gravitational acceleration.
  • Understanding weight is key for physics, engineering, gravity studies. Useful for analyzing structures under gravity. 

 

The History and Science of Mass and Weight

Mass and weight are fundamental concepts in physics that have an extensive history across different cultures and eras.

Mass and Weight Important developments in history

Ancient Civilizations: In ancient times, people had a basic understanding of the difference between heavy and light objects. However, they didn't possess a formal concept of mass or weight as we understand them today. Various cultures used different systems of measurements, often based on practical considerations. For instance, ancient Egyptians used a cubit-based system for construction, while ancient Greeks used units like the talent and the mina for trade and commerce.

Greek Philosophers and the Aristotelian View: Ancient Greek philosophers, including Aristotle (384-322 BCE), pondered the nature of objects and their behaviors. Aristotle believed that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones, a notion that would later be challenged by Galileo's experiments. However, Aristotle's ideas dominated Western thought for many centuries, and his conceptual framework didn't clearly differentiate between mass and weight.

Galileo and the Scientific Revolution: Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) played a crucial role in advancing our understanding of motion and the relationship between mass and weight. He conducted experiments involving rolling balls down inclined planes and dropping objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. His observations contradicted Aristotle's theories, demonstrating that all objects, regardless of their mass, fall at the same rate in a vacuum. This insight paved the way for a more accurate understanding of the relationship between mass and the force of gravity.

Isaac Newton and Universal Gravitation: Isaac Newton (1643-1727) formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which provided a comprehensive framework for understanding the behavior of objects. Newton's law of universal gravitation stated that every object with mass attracts every other object with mass through a force called gravity. This force is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This work laid the foundation for a clear distinction between mass (an inherent property of matter) and weight (the force exerted on an object due to gravity).

Modern Era and Metric System: In the 18th and 19th centuries, as science and technology advanced, the need for standardized units of measurement became increasingly important. The metric system, also known as the International System of Units (SI), was developed to provide a consistent and universal system of measurement. In the metric system, mass is measured in kilograms (kg), and weight is measured in newtons (N), where 1 N is the force exerted on a 1 kg mass due to gravity.

Einstein's Theory of Relativity: In the early 20th century, Albert Einstein's theory of relativity introduced a deeper understanding of mass. According to Einstein's equation E=mc², mass and energy are interchangeable, and mass can be thought of as a form of stored energy. This revolutionary idea changed how we perceive mass and its relationship to the fundamental forces of the universe.

In summary, the history of mass and weight involves a progression from basic observations and ancient measurements to the rigorous scientific frameworks developed by Galileo, Newton, and Einstein. These developments have led to our modern understanding of mass as an inherent property of matter and weight as the force exerted on an object due to gravity.

 

Mass and Weight Relationship

The relationship between mass and weight can be summarized as follows:

Mass: Mass is a measure of the amount of matter contained within an object. It is an intrinsic property and remains constant regardless of the object's location or the presence of other objects. Mass is measured in units such as kilograms (kg) or grams (g).

Weight: Weight is the force exerted on an object due to gravity. It is the gravitational force acting on the mass of an object. Weight is a variable quantity and depends on the gravitational field strength. Weight is typically measured in units such as Newtons (N) or pounds (lb).

Formula: The weight of an object can be calculated using the formula:

Weight = mass × gravitational acceleration

In this formula, the gravitational acceleration is denoted by "g" and represents the acceleration due to gravity. On Earth's surface, the standard value for gravitational acceleration is approximately 9.8 meters per second squared (m/s²).

  • Proportional Relationship: Mass and weight are directly proportional to each other. This means that if the mass of an object increases, its weight will also increase proportionally, assuming the gravitational field strength remains constant. Similarly, if the mass decreases, the weight will also decrease proportionally.
  • Variation with Gravitational Field: Weight can vary based on the strength of the gravitational field. For example, an object will weigh less on the Moon than it does on Earth because the Moon has a weaker gravitational field. The mass of the object remains the same, but the weight changes due to the different gravitational acceleration.
  • Different Gravitational Fields: The weight of an object will be different on different celestial bodies or in different locations with varying gravitational field strengths. The mass, however, remains the same regardless of the location.

In summary, mass is a measure of the amount of matter in an object and remains constant, while weight is the force exerted on an object due to gravity and can vary based on the gravitational field strength. Mass and weight are directly proportional to each other, but they are not the same concept.

 

Common Units of Mass Used in Science and Commerce

Mass is a fundamental scientific property measured in various units depending on the scale and field of use. Here are some of the most prevalent mass units:

Kilogram (kg)

  • The kilogram is the SI base unit of mass. Defined by a platinum-iridium cylinder in France.
  • Used widely in scientific, industrial, and everyday measurements.

Gram (g)

  • The gram equals 1/1000th of a kilogram.
  • Applied for measuring small masses like in cooking or chemistry.

Tonne or Metric Ton (t)

  • Equal to 1000 kg.
  • Used for large masses like in shipping, construction, engineering.

Pound (lb)

  • Common imperial unit in countries like the US.
  • Approximately 0.45 kg. Used in combinations like lb/sq. ft.

Ounce (oz)

  • Imperial mass unit equal to 1/16 lb or ~28 grams.
  • Used alongside pounds in food packaging, recipes.

Atomic Mass Unit (u or amu)

  • Unit for atomic and nuclear physics.
  • Defined as 1/12 the mass of a carbon-12 atom.
  • Used for expressing atomic/subatomic particle masses.

These are some of the most commonly used units of mass. However, there are other units used in specific contexts or specialized fields, including stone, carat, solar mass and more.

 

Weight on the planets?

This table shows the approximate weight of a 100 kg object on different planets. However, I would like to remind you that these values are approximate and may vary in real conditions.

 

 

 

Planet

Gravitational Acceleration (m/s²)

Estimated Weight (kg)

How much is 100 kg on Earth?

9.81

100

How much is 100 kg on the Moon?

1.625

16.25

How much is 100 kg on Mars?

3,72076

37.21

How much is 100 kg on Jupiter?

24.79

247.9

How much is 100 kg on Venus?

8.87

88.7

How much is 100 kg on Saturn?

10.44

104.4

How much is 100 kg on Uranus?

8.69

86.9

How much is 100 kg on Neptune?

11.15

111.5

How much is 100 kg on Pluto?

0.62

6.2

 

The values in this table show the approximate weight of a 100 kg object based on the gravitational accelerations of the planets. However, these values are rounded estimates and may vary slightly in real conditions.

 

 

 

  

 

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