The property of an object that determines how much it responds to a force in Newtonian mechanics, and how much it interacts with gravity in the Newtonian framework. Mass also refers to the intrinsic energy of a particle in particle physics.

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Mass and Energy

Would the mass of burnt firewood be equal to the mass of firewood before burning? Then where does that heat come from? According to Einstein's equation, $E=mc^2$ Shouldn't there be some mass going ...
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116 views

How to get the accurate relativistic momentum form for photons? [duplicate]

I have studied from Griffiths, the relativistic form of momentum is $$p = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} m_0v$$ Now when I evaluate the momentum for photon, I just insert $v=c$ and $m_0=0$ and I ...
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425 views

Determination of mass density distribution of an object

This is a follow-up to a previous question How can you weigh your own head in an accurate way?. My purpose is not to restart the flurry of more or less humorous jokes (which are not such a bad thing ...
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312 views

Precision of Coulomb's law

Up to which precision has the coulomb law proven to be true? I.e. if you have two electrons in a vacuum chamber, 5 meters appart, have the third order terms been ruled out? Are there any theoretical ...
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390 views

Do photons have mass? [duplicate]

As a student in a highschool physics class, my teacher has repeatedly told me that photons are massless. Yet, I have also heard from other sources that photons have momentum. If photons were to have ...
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114 views

How are weights and scales used by the public calibrated?

My physics teacher has a set of masses: things from 1 to 10 grams. My chemistry teacher has electronic balances that measures things in grams. In France, there is a block of metal we hope no one ...
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136 views

Why won't a block less dense than water fully submerge?

Suppose we have an object of volume $1\: \mathrm{m^3}$. Mass of that object is $500\: \mathrm{kg}$, which means that the density of the object is $500\: \mathrm{kg/m^3}$. If the object is in water it ...
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6k views

Why do we use kilograms instead of newtons to measure weight in everyday life?

What was the reason to use kilograms to measure weight (e.g. body weight, market vegetables etc.) instead of using newtons?
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312 views

Coupled Spring System (3 mass 3 springs)

Hello I am having trouble trying to find the correct model for this coupled spring system. The scenario is the following we have: Ceiling - Spring - Mass(1) - Spring(2) - Mass(2) - Spring (3) - ...
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190 views

Can matter be created from energy? [duplicate]

The small, hot, dense early universe the size of an atom was made up entirely of energy, it wasn't until after the expansion began and the universe cooled down some of that energy began converting ...
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1answer
133 views

Gravitational interactions by energy or by mass?

The mass-energy equivalence, first established by Einstein is an important and highly discussed phenomenon in physics. Without claiming much knowledge about high-end discussions on this topic, I would ...
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66 views

Metric in Lagrangian and the minimum total potential energy principle

I was wondering why physical systems "like" to go to the minimum of potential energy and I found this question, that tries to justify the minumum total potential energy principle. I was also reading ...
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49 views

How can spacetime affect massless entities? [duplicate]

Why is light affected and "bent" by spacetime if it has no mass or density?
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54 views

Is there any Violation of conservation of mass in positron emission?

In positron emission, a proton decays into a neutron, electron, and neutrino. Since the mass of a proton is less than that of a neutron, does that mean that energy is converted into mass in the ...
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117 views

On motivation for the definition of ADM mass

The ADM mass is expressed in terms of the initial data as a surface integral over a surface $S$ at spatial infinity: $$M:=-\frac{1}{8\pi}\lim_{r\to \infty}\int_S(k-k_0)\sqrt{\sigma}dS$$ where ...
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688 views

Is everything made of massless particles?

Photons have no mass. Yet they interact gravitationally, as all energy does, with other energetic and massive particles. This means that if you put multiple photons in a system, you get something that ...
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1answer
5k views

How do we know the masses of single stars?

I have recently read that we can only know the masses of stars in binary systems, because we use Kepler's third law to indirectly measure the mass. However, it is not hard to find measurements for the ...
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297 views

Question about Neutrino Flavor and Mass Eigenstates

I know the flavor and mass eigenstates are different, but are they related? What I mean is, in a process like fusion where electron neutrinos are created, do they start in the 1 mass eigenstate? My ...
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286 views

Could we prove that neutrinos have mass by measuring their gravitational signature?

It is now said that neutrinos have mass. If an object has mass then it also emits a gravitational field. I appreciate the neutrinos mass is predicted to be small, but as there are so many produced ...
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Terminal velocity of two equally shaped/sized objects with different weights?

I've tried doing research on this and there are some similar questions. However, they have slightly different scenarios and to make sure I understand things perfectly, I wanted to word it into my ...
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2answers
16k views

Does a weighing machine measure weight or mass? [closed]

What does a measuring scale measure: mass or weight? I mean, when we stand on a weighing scale the reading we get is in $\mathrm{kg}$'s. What does this mean?
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First and Second Moment of Mass

I recently came across the definition of the Center of Mass of a system as the point about which the first moment of mass is zero. Further, it defined Moment of Inertia as the second moment of mass. ...
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Relativistic mass and imaginary mass

The (relativistic) mass of an object measured by an observer in the $xyz$-frame is given by $$m = \frac{m_{rest}}{\sqrt{1 - \left(\frac{v}{c}\right)^2}}.$$ Mathematically $v$ could be greater than the ...
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690 views

What sort of “mass” is explained by the Higgs mechanism?

When I asked this question (probably in a less neutral form) to physicists, their answer was something along the lines that it's not gravity (i.e. unrelated to gravitons) but inertial mass. (So I ...
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1answer
124 views

How to determine sign of coefficients in simple spring, damper, mass system?

For a system of the sort shown below: I have come to realize that I continuously make mistakes when it comes to determining the signs (or specifically the direction of the forces) of the ...
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286 views

Deceleration rate of objects of different mass but the same otherwise

Using a tennis ball as an example object, if one ball weighs 1 ounce and the other is 2 ounces, and both are struck at 100 mph on the same trajectory, would there be any difference in the deceleration ...
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Orbital speed for a circular orbit?

I wanted to look up the formula for orbital speed for a circular orbit on Wikipedia, and I found 2 formulas: All bounded orbits where the gravity of a central body dominates are elliptical in ...
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657 views

Is a spinning object heavier than a non-spinning object?

Does spinning an object make it heavier? A real-world example: I was mowing the lawn in front of my house, a lawn that tends to have some steep inclines. I realized that the lawn-mower was easier ...
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174 views

Baryon masses in Wetterich's new cosmology

Christoph Wetterich has put out a paper in which the universe isn't always expanding; it can be static or expanding just some of the time or even shrinking. And then there is an interaction which ...
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180 views

Gravitational distortion of an object's diameter, at a distance,

Does the curvature of space-time cause objects to look smaller than they really are? What is the relationship between the optical distortion and the mass of the objects?
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288 views

The role of dark matter in black holes and star formation

In my understanding, there exists a critical mass for which a star needs to be in order for it to collapse into a black hole. This also applies to a certain critical density of gas in order for stars ...
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1answer
87 views

Wouldn't dark matter throw off the calculation of Earth's 'light' mass and estimates of its composition?

The Cavendish experiment first determined the mass of the Earth and (arguably) the gravitational constant. However, given the ubiquitous nature of dark matter, it seems reasonable that at least some ...
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2answers
213 views

Understanding of the $m v^2/2$ formula for kinetic energy

I have some problem to intuitively understand why the kinetic energy grows quadratically with the velocity (at least in non-relativistic case). Assume the following experiment: we launch an unmanned ...
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5answers
799 views

A neutrino has rest-mass and travels at (near) $c$, why isn't its mass/ energy (nearly) infinite?

If the total energy of all three types of neutrinos exceeded an average of 50 eV per neutrino, there would be so much mass in the universe that it would collapse. This limit can be circumvented ...
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2answers
128 views

Higgs field and masses of particles

Interaction of particle with Higgs field provides mass to the particles, then why still some particles are massless?
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216 views

Effective mass of a particle

I was reading about concept of effective mass on Wikipedia and came across the line that effective mass of a particle can be negative and even zero. How is this possible?
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1answer
82 views

If we were able to double the mass of the ordinary matter in the universe it will recollapse?

What will happen if we suppose to be able to add mass at the universe? For example doubling the mass of the ordinary matter?
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2answers
960 views

Can the mass of an orbiting object and the object being orbited be determined by the distance and orbit velocity alone? [duplicate]

This question is the inverse of: "Could an object orbit while moving at twice the speed, but at the same distance, if it had half the mass?" I'm curious about the nature of orbits, but am not well ...
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2answers
139 views

Can the effects of a person's mass upon the local gravitational field be detected and measured remotely?

As the title suggests, Can the effects of a person's mass upon the local gravitational field be detected and measured remotely? I am aware any mass produces and effects gravity but couldn't find ...
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1answer
244 views

Law of conservation of matter

If scientist have made small particles of matter then why do we still haw the law of conservation of matter? Is it because the few particles don't make a noticeable difference in our life?
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2answers
228 views

Photons and Relativity

Consider a Photon from Sun and travels with a velocity $c$. Now think we are that photon. For us, it looks like Sun is moving away from us with a velocity $c$. So, why don't we get attracted back ...
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1k views

Free fall of two spheres made of same materials, different masses, with air resistance

Two people falling with the same parachute will gain different speeds if their masses are different. The upward air drag will needed to be bigger for a heavier person, since gravitational force is ...
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2answers
3k views

Are neutrinos affected by gravity?

Layman here, but EE and BS physics. I know that light is affected by gravity. But are neutrinos? During the collapse of a star into a neutron star, as the electrons join protons to form neutrons ...
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1answer
460 views

Measuring the mass using angular velocities

I have 2 objects which are intially connected together, $O_1$ and $O_2$. When they are connected together, they have a rotation rate about their center of mass of $w_1$. $O_2$ is cleanly released from ...
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68 views

Real-world evidence that non-massive entities (or even: antiparticles), and their behaviors, are sources of gravity?

The theory of general relativity tells us that non-massive entities, and their behaviors, are possible sources of gravity. Mass isn't needed, the theory says. What's the real-world evidence that ...
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223 views

Feynman Diagrams: Mass Conservation

Can a Feynman diagram end with more matter than it began with? The answer should be no because it would break the law of conservation of mass, right? Example: I learned that two up-quarks could ...
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2answers
465 views

Does influence on gravity increase with mass when velocities approach the speed of light? [duplicate]

In other words, when a particle's mass increases significantly as it approaches the speed of light (c), does its influence on gravity increase, and if so, does it increase proportionally?
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1answer
1k views

Does the increase of (relativistic) mass, while flying near speed of light, has any impact on astronauts? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Would travelling at relativistic speeds have any impact on human biology? I am asking myself this question for a few day. What is the answer on: Does the increase of ...
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543 views

Does the potential energy related to a particle determines its rest mass?

Would it be possible to determine the rest mass of a particle by computing the potential energy related to the presence (existence) of the particle, if this potential energy could be determined ...
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1answer
2k views

How do Einstein’s equations support mass gain in particle accelerators? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does the mass of an object increase when its speed approaches that of light? A charged particle that is accelerated through a particle accelerator like CERN ...