Q:

What is the mathematical formula for mass?

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Quick Answer

The mathematical formula for mass is mass = density x volume. To calculate the mass of an object, you must first know its density and its volume.

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What is the mathematical formula for mass?
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Full Answer

The formula "mass = density x volume" is a variation on the density formula: density = mass ÷ volume. As long as two of the variables are known, the third can be calculated by rearranging the equation. In order to calculate mass, it is necessary to divide both sides of the density equation by volume.

For example, to find the mass of a liter of milk, it is first necessary to know the density of the milk. If the density is 1.03 g/mL, then according to the equation, the mass of one liter of milk is 1.030 kilograms.

Mass is often confused with weight, although they are two different things. Mass is an unchanging quality of an object. Relativistic mass, however, can increase when an object approaches light speed. It is a measurement of the amount of matter the object has. When a physicist discusses the mass of an object, he or she is is talking about the number of particles in the object, not how much they weigh. Weight, on the other hand, is the force of gravity pulling on a mass. The SI unit of mass, as determined by the International System of Units, is the kilogram.

Density is how much mass there is in a given amount of a material. An object of higher density will weigh more than an object of lower density, even if the objects are the same size.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is mass measured?

    A:

    Mass is measured using balances, and the two methods for weighing mass are called direct weighing and weighing by difference. Direct weighing is when an object is placed on a balance and the mass is read. Weighing by difference is done when two measurements are taken and the difference is found between the two weights.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between mass and weight?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    How do you find mass?

    A:

    Mass is equal to density times volume, or m = Dv, since density is equal to mass divided by volume, or D = m/v. Mass is denoted by the symbol "m," and its SI units are kilograms.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between mass and volume?

    A:

    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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