Browse Definitions :
Definition

mass (m)

Mass (symbolized m) is a dimensionless quantity representing the amount of matter in a particle or object. The standard unit of mass in the International System (SI) is the kilogram (kg).

Mass is measured by determining the extent to which a particle or object resists a change in its direction or speed when a force is applied. Isaac Newton stated: A stationary mass remains stationary, and a mass in motion at a constant speed and in a constant direction maintains that state of motion, unless acted on by an outside force. For a given applied force,large masses are accelerated to a small extent, and small masses are accelerated to a large extent. The following formula applies:

F = ma

where F is the applied force in newtons, m is the mass of the object or particle in kilograms, and a is the resulting acceleration in meters per second squared. The mass of an object can be calculated if the force and the acceleration are known.

Mass is not the same thing as weight. Weight has meaning only when an object having a specific mass is placed in an acceleration field, such as the gravitational field of the earth. At the earth's surface, a kilogram mass weighs about 2.2 pounds, for example. But on Mars, the same kilogram mass would weigh only about 0.8 pounds, and on Jupiter it would weigh roughly 5.5 pounds.

When expressing large or small masses, prefix multipliers are used.The table below shows the most common alternative mass units and their relationship to the kilogram.

Unit
(and symbol)
To convert to
kilograms, multiply by:
Conversely,
multiply by:
metric ton (T) 1000 0.001
gram (g) 0.001 1000
milligram (mg) 10 -6 10 6
microgram (µg) 10 -9 10 9
nanogram (ng) 10 -12 10 12
picogram (pg) 10 -15 10 15

See a physics video comparing mass to weight:

This was last updated in January 2016

Continue Reading About mass (m)

Join the conversation

4 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles pringles
Cancel
gotta love pringles
Cancel
pringles baby
Cancel
PRINGLES
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • brute force attack

    Brute force (also known as brute force cracking) is a trial and error method used by application programs to decode encrypted ...

  • spyware

    Spyware is software that is installed on a computing device without the user's knowledge. Spyware can be difficult to detect; ...

  • ATM black box attack

    An ATM black box attack, also referred to as jackpotting, is a type of banking-system crime in which the perpetrators bore holes ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's ...

SearchStorage

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close