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Weight – Definition, Unit & Conversion

What is weight

When you go to a market to buy vegetables or fruit, what type of measurement is used for such types of items? The measuring term used for these types of items, or to determine whether your friend is heavier than you or not, you use the term weight.

The instrument used to measure weight is called balance. In the olden days, beam balances were used, but nowadays we use digital balances to measure weights in terms of gram, kilogram, quintal, etc.

In this article, you’ll learn what is weight and its measurement and units in detail.

What is Weight?

Weight(or mass) is the term used for identifying the quantity of matter conatined by an object. Weight is a measure of how heavy something is. We use balance scales or weighing scales to measure weight. 

For example, the weight of apples tells you how heavy the apples are. 

Note: The terms ‘mass’ and ‘weight’ are used interchangeably in ordinary conversation, but the two words don’t mean the same thing. The difference between mass and weight is that mass is the amount of matter in a material, while weight is a measure of how the force of gravity acts upon that mass. In this article, weight refers to the mass of an object.

What is Measurement of Weight?

Measurement of weight can be defined as a process of identifying the heaviness of objects in some standard or non-standard units. Knowledge of measuring the weight of an object is one of the basic skills you need in everyday life. 

What is weight

You can measure the weight of an object by using different units like gram, kilogram, quintal, etc.

You can measure the weight of an object by using different units like gram, kilogram, quintal, pound, ounce, or by using a cup, teaspoon, etc. There are broadly two types of units that people around the world use.

  • Non-Standard Units of Measuring Weight
  • Standard Units of Measuring Weight
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Non-Standard Units of Measuring Weight

Let’s assume that your friend is teaching you how to bake a cake and gives you instructions for the process. 

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, until the dough becomes stretchy. Add the vegetable oil and then knead the dough for about ten minutes or until it’s smooth. If the dough’s too sticky then add a little more flour; if it’s too dry then add more water. 

Did you notice that for this recipe you measure out the main ingredients using cups?

Measuring out in this way means that you’re using non-standard units of measurement. Cups come in different shapes and sizes, so a cupful isn’t a fixed amount or weight – unless you use a standard measuring cup.

A non-standard unit of measurement is one that isn’t fixed.

In the salt dough recipe, the amounts of flour, salt, and water you use will vary depending on the size of your cup. You can measure things out like this when it’s not important to be exact.

Standard Units of Measuring Weight

Standard units are predefined and are based on some fixed or standardized. These units do not change from person to person or object to object. Suppose, there are two people measuring the weight of a pencil box with a measuring scale. If they use the standard units, they will get the same value.  Some examples of measurement of weight using standard units are gram, kilogram, pound, quintal, etc. 

The standard units of measuring weight are broadly divided into two types.

Metric System of Weight

The metric system includes kilogram, hectogram, decagram, gram, decigram, centigram, and milligram. There is a relationship between these units. The base unit is a gram.

The units used in the metric system are given below:

What is weight

The relationship of every other unit with the base unit (gram) is given below:

What is weight

The higher units of weight are quintal, tonne, and metric tonne.

What is weight
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Imperial System of Weight

The imperial system of weight includes grain, ounce, quarter, pound, etc. The relation is given by:

What is weight

The conversion from the metric system to the imperial system is given by:

What is weight

The conversion from the imperial system to the metric system is given by:

What is weight

S.I. Unit of Weight

The S.I. unit is an international system of measurements that is used universally in technical and scientific research to avoid confusion with the units. The S.I unit to measure the weight is given in kilogram (kg). 

Conclusion

Weight is the term used for identifying the amount of content the object has. Weight is a measure of how heavy something is. To measure weight we use three different types of systems, viz, metric system, imperial system, and S.I. system. In the olden days, people used non-standard units such as pebbles, metal blocks, etc.

Practice Problems

Convert the following

  • $5$ kg to g
  • $2340$ g to kg
  • $150$ dg to g
  • $2000$ pound to kg
  • $12$ kg to pound
  • $2.5$ kg to ounce
  • $150$ pound to ounce

Recommended Reading

FAQs

What is measuring weight?

Measurement of weight can be defined as a process of identifying the heaviness of objects in some standard or non-standard units.

What is the SI unit of measurement of weight?

The S.I unit to measure the weight is given in kilogram (kg).

What is the unit of measurement of weight?

The unit to measure the weight is given in gram (g). It is also denoted by gm.

What are the instruments for measuring weight?

A scale or balance is a device used to measure weight or mass. These are also known as mass scales, weight scales, mass balances, and weight balances.

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