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What is mass in math?

Mass: Mass is the amount of matter present in any physical object.  Usually mass and weight are two different terms as the weight gets affected by gravity. The mass of the object remains the same whereas the weight of the object may change from one place to another. But for elementary classes, we assume everything on the surface of the earth and the weight and mass of objects are considered as similar things.

SI units or standard units of mass

According to the metric units or standard units, Kilogram is used to measure mass. It is represented as kg. The imperial or old units of mass include pound, stone, etc. But as per international standards, Kilogram (kg) is the accepted unit for mass.

To measure heavy items or large masses such as stones, bricks, the units used are Kilograms and Tonne. For lighter items like medicines, chips, etc, we use smaller units such as grams (g) or milligrams (mg).

How to measure Mass?

There is various equipment available in the market to measure the mass of any object. For example digital scales, spring scales, balance scales, kitchen scales and bathroom scales.

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Conversions of standard units of Mass

To perform calculations and conversions, it’s important to understand the relationship between different units of mass.

1 gram (g) is equal to 1000th part of the kilogram. We can represent the same in an expression like

1 kg = 1000 g

Further 1 milligram is equal to 1000th part of a gram. So, the expression becomes

1 g = 1000 mg

Apart from Kilogram (kg), gram (g) and milligram (mg), there are several other units as well. Have a look.

Kilogram (kg) 1000 g
Hectogram (hg) 100 g
Decagram (dag) 10 g
Gram (g) 1 g
Decigram (dg) 0.1 g
Centigram (cg) 0.01 g
Milligram (mg) 0.001 g


By looking at the table, we can see that each entry is 10 times the lower one.  We perform multiplication or division depending on whether we want to convert into lower values or higher values respectively.

Some other higher units used for measuring heavy mass are Quintal and metric Tonne.

100 kilogram (Kg) = 1 quintal

1 metric ton (t) = 1,000 kilograms (kg)

We can also put in this way

1 t = 10 quintal = 1,000 kg = 1,000,000 g

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Let’s learn how to conversion of units in mass?

Problem 1: Convert 78 kg into grams?

From the above table, we know that 1 kg = 1000 g;

When we convert a higher unit into a lower unit, we perform multiplication.

So, 78 kg = 78 x 1000 g

= 78000 g

Let’s take another example

Problem2:  A basket of apples weights 45 Kg. There are 100 apples in one basket. Find the weight of one apple.

Here weight of basket is equal to weight of 100 apples. So,

The weight of 100 apples = 45 Kg

Weight of one apple = 45 / 100 = 0.45 kg

Writing 0.45 kg doesn’t look great. Let’s convert it into grams.

0.45 x 1000 = 450 g (1 kg = 1000 g)

The weight of one apple is 450 grams.


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