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Most of the science-related terms often 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 own meanings and are used in scenarios entirely different from each other.
A common example of two science-related words, that are often confused with each other are Density and Weight.
Both of them are physical properties of matter and are related to Matter. These words are used to represent mass and can be used when comparing different substances. Apart from being popular terms in the field of science, these words are not exclusive in the realm of science. They have different meanings in different areas of life.
Density vs Weight
The difference between Density and Weight is that density is used to measure the amount of matter contained in a unit volume. On the other hand, weight is the force of gravity that is applied to any objects’ mass because of the gravitational field.
Comparison Table Between Density and Weight
|Parameter of Comparison||Density||Weight|
|Meaning||Density is a measurement of the matter existing in the unit volume of any object.||Weight is the force that is applied to any object because of the gravitational force.|
|Components||Density has the components of mass and volume.||Weight has the components of mass and gravity.|
|Property||Density is an intensive physical property.||Weight is an extensive property.|
|Changes when||When the pressure and temperature of an object change, the density changes.||When the mass and gravity change, the weight changes.|
|Unit of Measurement||The 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 a physical property of matter. 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 unit of measurement of density 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. Basically, it is the product of a substance’s height, width and length.
The density of any substance is independent of the gravity. The gravitational force does not have anything to do with the density of a product.
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 substances’ 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 same dimensions.
Weight is measured using Newton or kilogram weight.
Weight is completely dependent on gravity. Without gravity, any substance does not have any weight. Weight is actually the force that applies to a substance because of the gravitational field. Thus, the weight of any object is related to its mass.
Because of the fact that weight is dependent on the gravitational force, it is possible that an object has different weights in different places. An example to prove this is that – the weight of anything is different on the moon as compared to its weight in 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 as a constant and extensive property.
Main Differences Between Density and Weight
- Density is used to measure the matter in a unit volume of an object whereas weight refers to the gravitational force applied of any object.
- The components of Density are mass and volume whereas, on the other hand, the components of weight are mass and gravity.
- Density is an intensive physical property whereas weight is an extensive property.
- Density changes when the pressure and temperature of an object changes, whereas the weight changes when the mass of an object and gravity changes.
- The measurement of density is done in kilogram per cubic meter, whereas the measurement of weight is done in Newton.
- Gravity does not affect density whereas on the other hand gravity directly affects weight.
- To calculate density mass is divided by volume, whereas to calculate weight mass is multiplied with gravity.
Density and weight are very commonly used words, not just in science but in the day to day conversations as well. Both these words often confuse people and people find it difficult to distinguish one from the other.
However, both these words are very different from each other. Density refers to the physical property of matter. It is basically the measurement of the total amount of matter which is available in a unit volume. On the other hand, weight refers to the force that is applied to any object, because of the gravitational force. It is basically the measurement of the total amount of matter existing in any object.
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