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A kilogram is a measurement of mass, NOT weight

by ericbrownster / September 13, 2007 9:19 AM PDT

The idea that differences in gravity on different places on the planet is causing differences in standard masses (NOT weights) that represent the kilogram is incorrect.

A rock with a mass of one kilogram on the surface of the Earth would still be one kilogram on the surface of the moon as mass does not change.

However, a rock weighing one point on the surface of the Earth would only weigh 1/6 of a point on the surface of the moon.

You might take a look at:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Gene_Nygaard/weight.htm
(Hm, there's more at that link then I ever considered from high-school physics. But at the end-of-the-day, I believe a kilogram is still a measurement of mass that does not change based on gravity.)

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thank you! I was about to say something similar.
by shawnlin / September 13, 2007 12:04 PM PDT

And as a general rule of thumb - don't mess up your unit conversion or comprehension! Happy

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Physics Nazis
by Owyn / September 28, 2007 11:30 PM PDT

CBC's Quirks and Quarks (the weekly national science program) recently used kilograms to reference weight and received over a thousand emails pointing out that the Newton is the measure for weight and the Kilogram is the measure for mass.

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Can you even measure mass though?
by Nicholas Buenk / September 13, 2007 5:59 PM PDT

When all our measuring devices measure.... weight.

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Well...Actually
by Renegade Knight / September 28, 2007 2:20 AM PDT

Some scales measure the force (aka weight) of an object due to gravity. Others do measure mass and would measure the same mass here or on the moon. I could be wrong but but those types tend to be called Scales.

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Mass or weight - something's still disappeared!
by punterjoe / September 13, 2007 10:35 PM PDT

Good point. Since Tom & Rafe kept mentioning weight instead of mass, maybe the mass remains the same, though I suspect the keepers of the measure probably considered that, and the fact that the story still got out, implies that there is more to it. ...Actually, less to it. Happy
I still like the idea of quantum evaporation. If an explanation for what you observe doesn't exist, just pull one out of ....the ether!
And if that doesn't work, try reversing the polarity.

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A lot of things in the quantum world
by Nicholas Buenk / September 13, 2007 10:47 PM PDT

Are completely about polarity actually. Wink

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or...gravity effect has changed...
by shawnlin / September 13, 2007 11:09 PM PDT

or...gravity effect has changed. I mean, if the metal hasn't changed and they sure don't want to mess with it like getting it's density and calculating mass that way, I don't know of a more direct way to account for the change in how much force it can exert by just sitting there.

A change in gravity may be pretty far fetched, but I do remember that the Indian Ocean tsunami of late 2004 caused the Earth to change it's rate of rotation, it's now estimated at ~1/1,000,000 second faster...I think.

hmm...so, what would cause the effect of gravity to change - and for this kilogram chunk issue specifically, be reduced?...

--S

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Ockham's razor...
by Nicholas Buenk / September 13, 2007 11:14 PM PDT

Quantum evaporation is the most reasonable explanation so far I think Wink

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glitch
by markdc1 / September 27, 2007 5:08 PM PDT

it's a glitch in the simulation

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