Density vs Weight: Difference and Comparison

Most science-related terms tend to confuse people. The field of physics has quite a few words that are used interchangeably by an average person.

However, all words have their meanings and are used in scenarios entirely different from each other.

A common example of two science-related words confused with each other is Density and Weight.

Both of them are physical properties of matter and are related to Matter. These words represent mass and can be used when comparing different substances.

Apart from being popular terms in science, these words are not exclusive to the realm of science. They have different meanings in different areas of life.

Key Takeaways

  1. Density measures the mass per unit volume, expressed in kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³) or grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm³).
  2. Weight is the force exerted on an object due to gravity, calculated as the product of mass and acceleration due to gravity, measured in newtons (N).
  3. While density describes how compact the mass of a substance is within a given volume, the weight represents the gravitational force acting on an object’s mass.

Density vs Weight

Density and Weight differ because density measures the amount of matter contained in a unit volume. On the other hand, weight is the force of gravity applied to any object’s mass because of the gravitational field.

Density vs Weight


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonDensityWeight
MeaningDensity is a measurement of the matter existing in the unit volume of any object.Weight is the force applied to any object because of the gravitational force.
ComponentsDensity has the components of mass and volume.Weight has the components of mass and gravity.
PropertyDensity is an intensive physical property.Weight is an extensive property.
Changes whenWhen the pressure and temperature of an object change, the density changes.When the mass and gravity change, the weight changes.
Unit of MeasurementThe unit to measure density is kilograms per cubic meter or grams per millilitre.The unit to measure weight is Newton kilogram weight.


What is Density?

Density is a very common term that one comes across, especially in physics. Density refers to the physical property of matter.

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It is used to measure the total matter that exists in a unit volume.

The density of an object does not change with its size. It is because of this reason that density is an intensive physical property.

The components of density are volume and mass. Density is the ratio between the two.

The density measurement unit is kilograms per cubic meter or grams per millilitre. The term density is absolute.

This term is not just used in physics but is used in many domestic and commercial applications.

An example to explain density could be if any solid substance is put into water, it floats when the density of the substance is lesser than the density of water. This is precisely why ice floats on water.

In the case of liquids, when two liquids that do not mix and have different densities come together, the liquid that is less dense floats on the other liquid.

Density deals with the volume of any substance. It is the product of a substance’s height, width and length.

The density of any substance is independent of gravity. The gravitational force has nothing to do with a product’s density.


What is Weight?

Weight is another popular term that one comes across very often. Scientifically speaking, weight refers to the gravitational force that acts upon any substance’s mass.

The weight of a substance is calculated by multiplying the mass and the gravitational field. The weight and the force of anything have the exact dimensions.

Weight is measured using Newton or kilogram weight.

Weight is completely dependent on gravity. Without gravity, any substance does not have any weight.

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Weight is the force that applies to a substance because of the gravitational field. Thus, the weight of any object is related to its mass.

Because weight depends on gravitational force, an object may have different weights in different places. An example to prove this is that – the weight of anything is different on the moon than on the Earth.

An object weighs one-sixth of its weight on Earth, on the moon. This is because of the difference in the gravitational force.

However, weight is considered a constant and extensive property.

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Main Differences Between Density and Weight

  1. Density measures the matter in a unit volume of an object, whereas weight refers to the gravitational force applied to any object.
  2. The components of Density are mass and volume, whereas on the other hand, the components of weight are mass and gravity.
  3. Density is an intensive physical property, whereas weight is an extensive property.
  4. Density changes when the pressure and temperature of an object change, whereas weight changes when the object’s mass and gravity change.
  5. The density measurement is done in kilograms per cubic meter, whereas the weight measurement is done in Newton.
  6. Gravity does not affect density, whereas, on the other hand, gravity directly affects weight.
  7. To calculate density, mass is divided by volume, whereas to calculate weight, mass is multiplied by gravity.
Difference Between Density and Weight

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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