Mass vs Density
‘Mass’ and ‘density’ are two terms that are used interchangeably in most cases. These two terms imply a completely different meaning and help to quantify matter. They are related to each other in terms of formula but mean different things.
Mass is the quantity of matter present in any substance or thing that can be expressed in units such as kilograms or grams. Density on the other hand is a different concept that defines how much mass is present in any substance with respect to its volume.
This should be clearly understood that the mass of an object remains the same and is never influenced by the force of gravity.
The difference between mass and density is that ‘mass’ is the total amount of matter present in any object whereas ‘density’ is the total mass of any object with respect to its volume. The density of any object is given by dividing its mass by the total volume it occupies.
This should be kept in mind that the mass of any object is not similar to the weight of the object.
Comparison Table Between Mass and Density (in Tabular Form)
|Parameters of comparison||Mass||Density|
|Definition||Mass is the total amount of matter present in any object.||Density is the total mass present in any object with respect to its volume.|
|Formula||Mass of any object can be depicted by- |
|The density of any object can be depicted by-|
Density= mass/ volume
|SI unit||It is expressed by the unit grams or kilograms.||It is expressed as gm/cm3 or kg/m3|
|State of matter||Mass of any object doesn’t define the state of the matter.||The density of any object is useful to depict the state of matter.|
|Characteristic||Mass is usually the measure of inertia.||Density is used to define the compactness of any object.|
What is Mass?
Mass is the property of any substance that depicts the total amount of matter present in that substance. The important aspect of mass is that it remains constant everywhere because it is not affected by the force of gravity. For example, if a ball has a mass of 2 kg on earth then its mass on the moon will also remain the same. Even though, the force of gravity changes but the mass never changes.
Mass is also the measure of inertia of any object that means heavier the body, more will it resist movement. It broadly represents the matter present in anybody. It is expressed by the unit kilograms or grams. Mass is a scalar quantity because it is not determined by the direction of the object. Mass of any object is extrinsic property because it denotes the amount of matter present in the substance.
It should also be noted that mass and weight are not the same things. Weight changes with the change in gravitational force but mass doesn’t change.
What is Density?
Density is the property of any substance that determines the total mass of the object with respect to its volume. It is the most used concept in science that defines the degree of compactness in any substance. Density usually depicts the state of matter that is it denotes whether something is solid, liquid, or gas.
In order to know the density of any object, we have to divide the mass of the objects by the volume that it occupies. Certainly, density can also be called the space occupied by any object. The density of the object remains the same no matter its shape or size. It changes with different temperatures and pressure.
Most of the time, density is responsible for the sinking and floating of the objects. The objects with less density float whereas those with higher density usually sink. For Example, a wood log floats in water whereas an iron nail sinks in water.
The density of any substance is the intrinsic property because it doesn’t depend on the quantity of the matter contained in the substance.
Main Differences Between Mass and Density
- Mass is the total amount of matter contained in any substance whereas density is defined as the total mass contained in any object with respect to its volume.
- Mass of the object usually changes shape and size whereas the density of any object remains the same irrespective of its shape and size.
- The terms mass is used to define the measure of inertia in any object whereas density defines the degree of compactness in any object.
- The mass of any object is given by density × volume whereas the density of any object is given by mass ÷ volume.
- The SI units that represent the mass of any object are kilograms and grams whereas those of density is kg/m3 or gm/cm3.
Mass and density are the most used concepts in science as well as our daily lives. Mass is the term that is used to define the amount of matter present in any object. It should be noted that mass is never the same as the weight of the object. Mass remains constant everywhere because it is not influenced by gravitational force whereas Weight changes with change in gravity.
Mass of any object presents the resistance to the acceleration. More will be the mass any object less will be the acceleration and vice versa.
The mass of a body is determined by the units such as kg and g whereas the density of any substance is measured by dividing mass by the volume occupied. The density of any substance decides its state of matter and degree of compactness of particles. Whether the substance will float or sink is depicted by the density of the substance.
Word Cloud for Difference Between Mass and Density
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Mass and Density. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.