Which has more mass?

  •   31.3% - 1 kg bag of lead - 101
  •   68.7% - 1 kg bag of feathers - 222

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  • Avatar of Torissen Torissen Mar 14, 2009 at 16:24 UTC - 0 likes

    The question should read: Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?

    That way you can argue that lead should be measured using troy pounds, while feathers would be measured using avoirdupois pounds.

  • Avatar of PeterPater PeterPater Mar 13, 2009 at 14:59 UTC - 0 likes


    "In physical science, mass refers to the degree of acceleration a body acquires when subject to a force: bodies with greater mass are accelerated less by the same force."

    "In everyday usage, mass is commonly confused with weight. But, in physics and engineering, weight means the strength of the gravitational pull on the object; that is, how heavy it is, measured in units of newtons. In everyday situations, the weight of an object is proportional to its mass, which usually makes it unproblematic to use the same word for both concepts."

    And i think this is not an everyday situation...;)

  • Avatar of zarevak zarevak Mar 13, 2009 at 02:25 UTC - 0 likes

    Have you ever dropped a 1kg of lead on your foot? I'm telling you: It is heavier than the feather ;-)

  • Avatar of Lombra Lombra Mar 13, 2009 at 00:14 UTC - 0 likes

    I'd say it's just a "stupid" question, and neither answer is correct, and had the correct answer been available, it would've been too obvious!

    Edit: Then again, it's sort of obvious anyway, I suppose.

  • Avatar of lordrhys lordrhys Mar 12, 2009 at 21:03 UTC - 0 likes

    Mass is a measure of how much matter an object has. Weight is a measure of how strongly gravity pulls on that matter. Thus if you were to travel to the moon your weight would change because the pull of gravity is weaker there than on Earth but, your mass would stay the same because you are still made up of the same amount of matter.

    The true test would be to take both bags to the moon and see which weighs more, then you see which has more mass. Feathers looks to be correct because there's more of them, but each feather is made of less matter than the lead bars. I would think since they weigh the same on earth they would weigh the same on the moon thus having equal mass totals.

  • Avatar of Valana_TB Valana_TB Mar 12, 2009 at 17:45 UTC - 0 likes

    Kilogram is a unit of mass, no matter how you want to spin it. Therefore, this question has no correct answer. Now if you wanted to rephrase your question using "matter" instead of "mass" then I suppose it would make sense.

    Author of the TB Add-Ons Suite.

  • Avatar of wys1452004 wys1452004 Mar 12, 2009 at 13:34 UTC - 0 likes


  • Avatar of mikk mikk Mar 12, 2009 at 12:08 UTC - 0 likes

    Well, I figure it like this.

    ASSUME the question is meant to be answered. That means one answer is right.

    Now, we ASSUME that "1 kg" is weight (what a scale would say when you put the bag on it), not mass, because that's the only way there can be a difference between the answers.

    And we ASSUME that the bags are packed in a way that makes sense, and not in a vacuum.

    Now, the only sane answer becomes: the bag of feathers has more mass.

  • Avatar of mstanley2002 mstanley2002 Mar 12, 2009 at 11:20 UTC - 0 likes

    no...your just not measuring your weight... your measuring your mass. You getting confused in the semantics of scales "weighing" weight

  • Avatar of mikk mikk Mar 12, 2009 at 02:48 UTC - 0 likes

    That's funny hirsute. Our scales do tell us kilograms when we step up on them, we must all be wrong then! :P


Posted on
Mar 06, 2009
Last updated
Mar 06, 2009
Voted on
323 times