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Google says 1 cubic meter of air has 1 kg of mass at room temp. This seems like garbage, as if the container is supplying the mass. But if there is no container, it cannot take 1 kg of pressure to lift from below at some low, but non-zero, airspeed because its gravitational weight is zero due to buoyancy around air of the same composition and temperature.

Is my intuition or is the web wrong? Ultimately, I'm trying to calculate the mass of a cubic mile of air for calculations regarding wind generation (and its possible effects, environmentally).

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  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Density_of_air does this sound like garbage? Your question is somewhat unclear due to confusing formulations. $\endgroup$ – Jasper Jan 24 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Jasper: Please see my edit and the comment to JMac below. $\endgroup$ – TheDoctor Feb 7 at 19:46
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I don't see the conflict in what you describe.

A volume of air will have a mass associated with it. The air is matter, and does indeed posses mass.

The weight of the air is something different.

Weight takes into account the various forces acting on the object, and the measured weight of an object is reduced by buoyancy.

1 kilogram of air in a vacuum would impart it's mass as the weight force. Even people weigh less than their mass in theory due to buoyancy.

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  • $\begingroup$ "The air is matter, and does possess mass." Here's the problem. Space is not confined to the dimensions of your cubic box. So, to say "it" (the air) possesses mass, is to make a claim about the relationship of air atoms to other air atoms dimensionally. However, the air, by definition, I'll argue, is unentangled. So then all you can really measure for mass is the atomic mass times the number of estimated atoms in the box. What is that? $\endgroup$ – TheDoctor Feb 7 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDoctor I don't quite understand what you are trying to say. What do you mean air is "unentangled", and what do you mean by "relationship of air atoms to other air atoms dimensionally"? To put it another way, if you travel through space at extremely high speeds and start colliding with gas in space, the imparted momentum is going to act like an object with mass, and potentially do damage to the spacecraft. Unconfined air will still behave as if it has mass, regardless of if it also spreads out when exposed to a vacuum. $\endgroup$ – JMac Feb 7 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ I am using an unstated and unorthodox physics. Gravity in this model is due to macro entanglements, otherwise there is no natural gravitational "attraction" (a la Newton) and inertia is due to normal (micro) entanglements. Also, in this model, space is not naturally ordered ("3d") and arises due to interactions of consciousness. This is what I mean by "dimensionally", so in other words, if we take a common man's view of the air in a "3d" box, we only have the atomic weights of the atoms therein to create mass. $\endgroup$ – TheDoctor Feb 7 at 20:18
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    $\begingroup$ Feel free to use whatever you like, but this site is about accepted ("mainstream") physics... $\endgroup$ – Jasper Feb 7 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ @TheDoctor This site deals with mainstream physics. I am only basing my answers on mainstream physics. In mainstream physics, gasses, like other forms of matter, have mass. It can be experimentally shown that air will behave as though it has mass, as mass is defined in mainstream physics. It seems strange that you would expect me to assume and apply non-mainstream physics to this problem, especially since these completely unorthodox assumptions were never stated in the question. That would also make it off topic. $\endgroup$ – JMac Feb 7 at 20:36

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