Units of Mass

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Created by: Team Physics - Examples.com, Last Updated: April 25, 2024

Units of Mass

What are the Units of Mass?

The units of mass are primarily categorized under the International System of Units (SI) and the Imperial system. In the SI system, the kilogram (kg) is the base unit, supported by smaller units like the gram (g), milligram (mg), and microgram (µg), which facilitate precise measurements in scientific contexts. Additionally, the metric tonne (1,000 kg) is used for measuring larger quantities. In the Imperial system, common units include the pound (lb) and ounce (oz), with one pound equivalent to 16 ounces. Other specialized units such as the stone, used mainly in the UK for body weight, and the carat, used globally for gemstones, where one carat equals 200 milligrams, also play significant roles in specific contexts. Moreover, in scientific fields, particularly chemistry and physics, the atomic mass unit (amu or Dalton) is crucial for expressing atomic and molecular masses.

Types of Units of Mass

Metric System (SI Units)

  • Kilogram (kg): The base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), used globally in scientific, industrial, and commercial applications.
  • Gram (g): A smaller unit of mass, suitable for lighter measurements in science and daily use; 1,000 grams make up a kilogram.
  • Milligram (mg) and Microgram (µg): Even smaller units used for precise measurements in fields like medicine, chemistry, and nutrition.

Imperial and US Customary Units

  • Pound (lb): The most common unit of mass in the United States for everyday use, including grocery items and body weight.
  • Ounce (oz): A smaller unit used for smaller quantities, especially in cooking and postal services; 16 ounces equal one pound.
  • Stone: Mainly used in the UK and Ireland for body weight, where one stone equals 14 pounds.

Scientific Units

  • Atomic Mass Unit (amu) or Dalton: Used in atomic and molecular physics, chemistry, and biochemistry to express the masses of atoms and molecules.

Other Units

  • Tonne (Metric ton): Equivalent to 1,000 kilograms, used in industry and commerce to measure large quantities.
  • Carat: Used specifically in the gem trade; one carat is defined as 200 milligrams.

List of Mass Units

  1. Milligram (mg)
  2. Gram (g)
  3. Kilogram (kg)
  4. Metric ton (t)
  5. Ounce (oz)
  6. Pound (lb)
  7. Stone (st)
  8. Short ton (US ton)
  9. Long ton (UK ton)

Milligram (mg)

Description: A milligram is a very small unit of mass in the metric system, equal to one-thousandth of a gram.
Common Use: Often used in medicine and science to measure small quantities, such as ingredients in pharmaceutical products.

Gram (g)

Description: A gram is a basic unit of mass in the metric system, defined as the mass of one cubic centimeter of water at 4 degrees Celsius.
Common Use: Widely used in cooking, grocery shopping, and science for measuring non-liquid ingredients and small quantities of materials.

Kilogram (kg)

Description: A kilogram is equal to 1,000 grams and is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI).
Common Use: It is used globally in almost all fields and applications, including science, industry, and everyday commerce.

Metric Ton (t)

Description: Also known as a tonne, it is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms or approximately 2,204.6 pounds.
Common Use: Common in international trade, especially for bulk commodities like grains, metals, and other materials measured in large quantities.

Ounce (oz)

Description: An ounce is a unit of weight used in the U.S. customary and British imperial systems, equal to 1/16 of a pound.
Common Use: Frequently used in the United States for cooking measurements and in post offices worldwide for small parcels.

Pound (lb)

Description: A pound is equal to 16 ounces and is another unit from the U.S. customary and British imperial systems.
Common Use: Commonly used in the United States for body weight measurements, and in the commerce of items like produce and meat.

Stone (st)

Description: A stone is a British unit of weight, which equals 14 pounds.
Common Use: Primarily used in the UK and Ireland for body weight measurement.

Short Ton (US ton)

Description: A short ton is commonly known as the American ton, equal to 2,000 pounds.
Common Use: Used widely in the United States for measuring the weight of goods, vehicles, and raw materials.

Long Ton (UK ton)

Description: A long ton, also known as the imperial ton, equals 2,240 pounds.
Common Use: Historically used in the UK for large weight measurements, such as ship displacement and raw materials, but now mostly replaced by the metric ton.

Conversion of Mass Units

UnitKilogram (kg)Gram (g)Milligram (mg)Pound (lb)Ounce (oz)
Kilogram (kg)010001,000,0002.2046235.274
Gram (g)0.001010000.002204620.035274
Milligram (mg)0.0000010.00100.000002204620.000035274
Pound (lb)0.453592453.592453,592016
Ounce (oz)0.028349528.349528,349.50.06250

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