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# What is the difference between mass and weight?

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### Quick Answer

Weight is a measurement of the force placed on an object by gravity, whereas mass is the amount of matter an object contains. Mass is commonly denoted using m or M, and weight is denoted with W.

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Mass is commonly measured in grams and kilograms, whereas weight is generally measured in Newtons. Weight changes depending on location, while mass is always constant. For example, weight on the moon is less than weight on Earth. Weight is contingent on gravity; therefore, objects are heavier when gravity is greater. Gravity does no affect an astronaut's body in space, so the astronaut is essentially weightless. While the amount of mass can never reach zero, weight can equal zero.

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A gram is a measurement of mass, or the amount of matter something contains, and a teaspoon is a measurement of volume, or the amount of space something takes up. Therefore, it isn't possible to precisely convert teaspoons into grams unless the density of the substance being measured is known.

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To convert lbm (pound-mass) to lbf (pound-force) for an object located at the Earth's surface, multiply the mass (in pounds) by the "standard gravitational force" of 32.174049 (typically rounded to 32.174) to calculate lbf. If the object is not located at the Earth's surface, a different ratio must be used.

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The mass of an object is the amount of matter it contains while volume is the amount of space it takes up. Mass should not be confused with weight, which is the measure of the gravitational force on an object.

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In science, mass is the amount of matter an object has. Newton's second law says that mass is the property of matter that determines the force required to impart a given acceleration to an object.

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