We explain what weight is and what is the difference between weight and mass. Also, what are their different meanings and some examples.

Weight is the force that a body exerts on the point where it rests.

What is the weight?

The word "weight" comes from the Latin term pensum. This concept can be defined as the force with which the planet Earth attracts bodies. However, the word "weight" can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the discipline since it is treated.

From the physical the concept of weight is understood as the force exerted by a certain body on the point where it is supported. This concept finds its origin in the acceleration of the gravity.

The weight of a certain body is calculated as the multiplication of its mass and the acceleration of gravity. The unit in which the weight is expressed in theInternational System of Units It is the Newton, commonly abbreviated with the letter N. Within the technical system the unit called kilogram / force is used, which is usually abbreviated as Kgf.

What is the difference between weight and mass?

The term "peso" is also the name given to certain currencies.

From physics it is elementary to distinguish two concepts that are usually confused or used as synonyms, which are mass and weight.

  • Weight is the force that the Earth exerts on a mass. It is not a particular property of bodies, but depends on the gravitational field in which they are. A body does not weigh the same on Earth as it does on the Moon since the acceleration of gravity is different at home astro.
  • Mass is the amount of matter possessing a body. The mass of a body is the same on planet Earth and on the Moon.

How is each one measured?

  • Mass is measured in kilograms and a scale is used for this.
  • Weight is measured in newtons and a dynamometer is used for this.

Weight varies according to latitude and altitude. The mass, on the other hand, is constant since it does not depend on external factors such as the gravitational force.

So what we normally call weight, such as when wewe weigh on a scale and we see how many kilos our body weighs, we are talking about mass, not weight. However, this is not important, since, in reality, there would not be major differences, they are directly proportional.

Inchemistry refers to the atomic weight, defined as the ratio of the average of the masses of the atoms of an element with respect to the twelfth of the mass of an elementatom carbon-12. This weight will be an average of the weights of the different isotopes of the same element.

In the fieldsportsMore precisely in boxing, weight is used as a property to make distinctions in the categories of competitors. Some examples are flyweight, which are competitors under 51 kilograms, featherweight, where those athletes under 57 kg can compete, light weight, whose competitors cannot exceed 60 Kg, heavy weight, where athletes must weigh less than 91 kg and super heavy weight, which are those competed that exceed 91 kg, among many other intermediate categories.

Another totally different way of using the term peso is in the name given to certain currencies. At present there are several countries, just under a dozen, where they call their legal currency "peso". The currencies of these countries have a different value, they only have their common origin, which is the old Spanish currency.

Other uses of the word weight

On a balance, a counterweight can be used to exert balance.
  • First of all, the word weight refers to a scale as a device used for weighing. In a beam scale for example, the lever principle with a sliding counterweight is used to exert balance.
  • It can also be considered a weight at the responsibility, burden or concern that a person feels about a situation.
  • With respect to a question, a person or an object, we also talk about weight with respect to its importance or influence.
  • The specific weight of an object is the weight of that object in relation to its volume.
  • Atomic weight is the average mass of the atoms in a given element.
  • The molecular weight indicates the sum of the atomic weights that make up a compound.
  • When we talk about a product, we can refer to the gross weight, that is, the total weight together with its packaging, box or container, or the net weight, without any of that.
  • For a merchant ship, deadweight is the maximum weight load it can carry.
  • For the Humans, weight refers to a matter of body mass related to development and the state of Health.
  • As a unit of currency, the peso is the currency used in certain countries of the Latin America, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay.
  • In sport, the word weight is used to refer to the categories of boxing fighters and other types of hand-to-hand fighting.
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