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# What does a balance measure?

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A balance measures the weight of an object or compares the difference of weight between two separate bodies. This measurement of weight can then be converted into mass, hence it is also possible to measure the mass of objects using a balance.

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The weight of an object is different than its mass. Weight of an object is equal to the mass of the object times the gravitational pull of the earth. By measuring the weight of an object, its mass is easily calculated. Since the gravitational pull of the earth is always present, it is a convenient practice to measure the weight of any object and then, if necessary, calculate its mass.

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## Related Questions

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Spring scales measure the magnitude of forces, most commonly weight, which is the downward force of gravity on an object. It works from the principle laid down by Isaac Newton in his third law of universal motion, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

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To measure the volume of an irregular solid, pour water in a graduated cylinder, read the water volume, immerse the object in the cylinder, and subtract the initial water volume from the new volume to get the volume of the object. Use a graduated cylinder and water to accomplish this task.

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Density is defined as mass per unit volume, so it is necessary to measure both the weight and volume of an object to determine its density. Use a scale to measure the object's weight. A ruler can be used to measure the dimensions of an object and calculate its volume.