What Tool Is Used to Measure Mass? Guide 2022


Have you wondered what tool is used to measure mass? Some tools such as balances and scales or measurement transducers could help. We will introduce different methods in the post to help you measure mass.

Regardless of an object’s location, mass does not change. The amount of matter is unchanged. Depending on the size and location of the object, scientists employ a variety of tools to measure mass.

An object’s mass is a measure of how much matter is present inside it. Weight varies depending on the pull of gravity, so measuring mass does not always equal measuring weight.

Keep reading and find out more!

What Does Measurement Mean in The Scientific Method?

A measurement is obtained by comparing an object to some standard. Any observation is valuable to a scientist, though quantitative observations are frequently regarded as being more valuable. In every experiment, scientists typically take quantitative measurements, even if they are only estimates.

The Tool Used to Measure The Mass

We list five most common used tools.

Balances and Scales

Scientists use a balance to determine an object’s mass for the majority of commonplace objects. A balance compares the object under consideration to an object with a known mass. The triple beam balance is an illustration of a balance. Based on the metric system, kilograms or grams are typically used to denote the standard unit of measurement for mass. Beam balances and digital scientific balances are among the various balance types. An inertial balance is used by scientists to calculate the mass in space. This kind of balance makes use of a spring to which a weightless object is fastened. The spring stiffness and the object’s level of vibration both contribute to determining the mass of the object.

Modern digital and spring scales help determine the mass in the home. A person steps on a scale to measure their weight. By dividing the person’s body weight by gravity, a digital scale can determine their mass.

Balances and Scales

Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMED)

The SLAMMED, a more advanced mass measuring device, calculates the in-orbit mass of the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. A rack-mounted device called SLAMMED is based on Sir Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion, which states that force is equal to mass times acceleration. This device determines the mass of a person by applying force and acceleration against the person using two springs.

Measurement Transducer

Sometimes using a balance to calculate mass is impossible. Transducers are used by scientists to determine a liquid’s mass in a calibrated tank. When a liquid is in a static state, a transducer measures its mass properties. A processor receives a signal from the transducer, which it uses to calculate the mass. The mass is then shown on an indicator. Gross mass is obtained by taking the mass of the liquid below the transducer and deducting the weights of the water, vapor, roof that is floating, and bottom sediment.

Measurement Transducer

Vibrating Tube Mass Sensor

Scientists face difficulties when attempting to measure physical characteristics at the microscopic scale. The vibrating tube mass sensor is a useful tool for quantifying biological samples in fluids as small as a few micrograms. By using the fluid’s density, the sensor first calculates an object’s buoyant mass. By measuring the object’s buoyant mass in fluids with various densities, one can determine the object’s absolute mass after determining its buoyant mass. For biomaterials like embryos, cells, and seeds, this inexpensive, portable sensor offers useful information.

Gravitational Interaction

Scientists rely on the gravitational interaction of the large object in question with nearby objects when studying enormous objects in space. You need to know the separation between two stars as well as the timing of their individual movements in order to calculate the mass of a star. Galaxies’ mass is also determined by measuring their rotational speed, according to scientists.

Read More: What Tool Is Used To Measure Volume?

What Is The Best Tool for Measuring Mass?

Balances and Scales

For most everyday objects scientists use a balance to obtain an object’s mass. A balance contrasts the object under consideration with an object whose mass is known. The triple beam balance is an illustration of a balance.

How To Measuring Mass?

Below are step by step guide to measure the mass.

Step 1: Prepare The Balance For Use

Once you’ve mastered using the balance, make sure it’s clean and free of debris. Make sure the balance is level and avoid setting the sample directly on the balance. You should use a weighted boat, weighing sheet, or another container, like a graduated cylinder, to hold your sample because some lab chemicals could harm the surface of the weighing pan.

It is essential to confirm that your sample and the container won’t chemically react before selecting the container for your sample. If your balance has doors, close them before taking measurements because the air movement will affect the mass measurement’s accuracy. If there aren’t any doors, make sure there aren’t any drafts or vibrations in the space.

Step 2: Tare The Scale

You obtain the combined mass of the container and your sample after placing your sample inside it. Remove the mass of the container to get the most precise measurement of just your sample. The mass of the container may add additional metric units that you had not intended to measure. Your final measurement will not include the mass of your container if you use the tare function on your scale.

You might need to manually reset the reading on some instruments to zero. Electronic devices frequently tare automatically, but they need to be calibrated periodically to stay accurate.

Step 3: Place Container On The Scale

The balance reading should once more be 0, so press the tare button once more. Your container’s weight is reduced as a result.

Step 4: Add The Sample To The Container

To the container, add the sample. Your sample’s mass is represented by the value given.

Alternatively, you could weigh your container, weigh it with the sample in it, and then subtract the mass of the container to get the mass of the sample. For instance, if your container weighs 5 grams and the sample and container together weigh 15 grams, you can safely conclude the sample weighs 10 grams. Fortunately, most scales will come with a “tare” function and will do this calculation for you.

Sources Of Error When Measuring Mass

You might still get an inaccurate measurement even after adjusting for the mass of the container. A lot of mass measurement equipment is prone to error. Taking mass measurements comes with the potential for error due to:

  • Air gusts that push the mass up or down
  • Magnetic fields affecting the components of the scale
  • Evaporation of water from damp items
  • Dust accumulation on the measuring device
  • Condensation of water on cold measuring instruments
  • Buoyancy
  • Temperature changes that cause components to expand or contract (measurements taken on hot days may differ from measurements taken on cold days)
  • Vibration (fluctuations will make it difficult to obtain a value)

How Do You Calculate Your Weight?

To find an object’s mass using its weight the formula is Mass equals Weight divided by the Acceleration of Gravity (M = W ÷ G). Calculate the equivalent weight in Newtons of a given amount of weight in pounds. Mass is expressed in Newtons in the formula used to calculate mass based on weight.

How Is Mass Determined in A Lab Setting?

A balance or scale is an instrument used to measure mass in the science laboratory. Tapping the scale and taking a mass measurement directly is a typical way to measure mass. … The second common technique involves adding a sample to a container and calculating the combined mass of the sample and container.

Mass Or Weight: The Same Thing?

There is a widespread misconception that mass and weight are interchangeable, which can result in selecting the wrong instruments to measure mass. Because they are proportional to one another, weight and mass are frequently used interchangeably.

The amount of matter that makes up an object is represented by its mass, whereas its weight is determined by the force of gravity acting on it. It’s not always possible to measure weight by measuring mass. The amount of matter stays constant, so mass won’t change no matter where an object is. In other words, you could determine an object’s mass by counting the protons, neutrons, and electrons inside it. In essence, it’s the amount of material an object contains.

The interaction between mass-containing objects and the gravitational pull of the Earth is referred to as weight, on the other hand. The force is referred to as the weight if the object interacting with Earth. Weight is measured in Newtons, but it can also be expressed in pounds or kilograms.

Also Read:


What Are The 3 Different Types of Measurement?

The three standard systems of measurement are the International System of Units (SI) units the British Imperial System and the US Customary System. The International System of Units (SI) units are the most widely used of these.

What Tool Is Used To Measure Weight?

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

What Exactly Does An Object’s Mass Mean?

The mass of an object is a measure of the object’s inertial property or the amount of matter it contains. The force of gravity acting on an object or the force required to support it is measured by the weight of the object.

What Makes Us Measure Mass?

Mass is important to measure because it will measure the amount of force it will take to move the object. Measurements in standardized units of measurement like milligrams, grams, and kilograms are frequently used to determine the mass of an unmeasured object.

How Do You Measure Mass In Chemistry?

In the laboratory, mass is measured with a balance, which needs to be calibrated with a standard mass to ensure the accuracy of its measurements. Grams and milligrams are additional popular mass units. There are 1000 g in 1 kg since 1 kilogram is equal to 1/10000 of a gram.