Questions tagged [mass]

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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6answers
13k views

Why would a fat skydiver fall first in free fall?

I was having one of those obnoxious conversations with a friend where he was arguing that a fat skydiver would reach the ground faster than a skinny skydiver. To me it seemed as obvious that the world ...
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1answer
570 views

Why the kilogram is not defined? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do we still not have an exact definition for a kilogram? I was thinking about SI units. I found the following definition for the base units: Meter: distance covered by ...
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Center of mass of a car

This might be little of the track but my question is more on possibility of application of principle of center of mass. The probability of a vehicle overturning depends more on the level of center of ...
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1answer
967 views

Neutrino mass with Dirac and Majorana

Why both Dirac mass and Majorana mass terms are needed to explain the mass of a neutrino?
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Does Earth's rotation change at a constant rate?

Follow-up to Is Earth's orbit altered by recoil from take-off/launch/recovery of aero/space vehicles? and How much meteoric/space dust does the moon accumulate daily? Is the length of the day ...
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1answer
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How much meteoric/space dust does the moon accumulate daily?

Just what the title states. Any body, as it travels through space, probably sweeps meteoric/general dust from the vicinity into itself. How much (in tons/kilograms) dust does the moon accumulate ...
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Why is the lightness of particles remarkable?

Why is the lightness of particles unexpected? http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/09/experimenters-susy-frustrations-and.html
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1answer
809 views

Is $w=mg$ the right way to calculate mass?

How can you find the mass of an object by using a weight and a gravitational acceleration from another planet then earth? I was given $5.8\text{ N}$ and an acceleration of $4.0\ \mathrm{m/s^2}$. The ...
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Do we say that phonon has effective mass through its dispersion relation?

The effective mass is proportional to the second derivative of the dispersion relation $d^2k/dE^2$. Do we say that phonon have effective mass through it? Spin wave have.
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1answer
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Non-conversion of mass & energy?

This article is certainly an interesting alternative perspective, but is it factual or does it contain fallacies? http://www.circlon-theory.com/HTML/EmcFallacies.html Are mass and energy not ...
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What is the mass of a wave?

The slide called "QUANTA" here says that "One Quantum has a definite mass" and the picture shows a wave. So, What is meant by the mass of a wave?
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Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? [duplicate]

So, I'm not too physics savvy but I am curious to ask. Is there a finite amount of mass in the universe? or is there more and more being created from somewhere or something? If the universe is ...
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2answers
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Why would a particle in an extra dimension appear not as one particle, but a set of particles?

I was reading an article in this months issue of Physics World magazine on the three main theories of extra dimensions and stumbled across something I didn't quite understand when the author began ...
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1answer
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How can we have massive states of strings and CFT on the string worldsheet at the same time?

Ok, so we can have conformal invariance on a string world sheet. However, it is well known that to preserve conformal symmetry we require states to be massless. So how is it that string theories ...
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Why do objects with different masses fall at the same rate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Confused about the role of mass Today we were in our Literature class talking about the Renaissance and the Enlightement and our teacher also said that scientific experiments ...
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1answer
789 views

What gives matter Gravitational Mass? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does the equivalence between inertial and gravitational mass imply anything about the Higgs mechanism? In Higgs mechanism, Higgs field, which likes syrup, slows down particles ...
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Preventing a block from sliding on a frictionless inclined plane

I want to demonstrate what force $F$ you would have to exert on an inclined plane of angle $t$, mass $M$ to prevent a block on top of it with mass $m$ from sliding up or down the ramp. I worked out ...
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The physics behind The Great Flood [closed]

The book of Genesis floats (pardon the pun) some interesting numbers when discussing the Great Flood. For example, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and at the end of that time, the entire planet ...
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Density of a proton

I was doing some exercises the other day, when I came across this question in my book: A proton weighs about 1.66 x 10-24 g and has a diameter of about 10-15 m. What is its density in g/cm3? As ...
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1answer
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How do the energy eigenvalues of rotational degrees of freedom in statistical mechanics come about?

I want to understand the hierarchy different degrees of freedom of a mechanical system. Specifically, I want to understand which subsystems equibrilate faster and why. This question comes up: Why ...
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3answers
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How to recognize broken candies from whole ones [closed]

Let's say I have a bag full of sugar candy. Some will be whole, some will be dent, some will be broken (in part, or half, etc). Let's say I have a device with an input box where I empty the bag, and ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do photons add mass to a black hole?

Why do photons add mass to a black hole? When photons are taken irreversibly into a black hole does the mass of the BH increase?
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1answer
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Does the mass of a battery change when charged/discharged?

If so, how much? Is it possible to detect it, or is it beyond any measurement? I'd say there are two possible scenarios (depending on the battery type) and both seem interesting: The battery reacts ...
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How is light affected by gravity?

Light is clearly affected by gravity, just think about a black hole, but light supposedly has no mass and gravity only affects objects with mass. On the other hand, if light does have mass then doesn'...
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How are the masses of unstable elementary particles measured?

I am interested in knowing how (Q1) the particle's masses are experimentally determined from accelerator observations. What kind of particles? They must be as far as we know elementary and unstable (...
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3answers
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Negative Mass and gravitation

Since Newtonian gravity is analogous to electrostatics shouldn't there be something called negative mass? Also, a moving charge generates electric field, but why doesn't a moving mass generate some ...
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1answer
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Expression for the (relativistic) mass of the photon [closed]

I started learning a bit ahead from an old physics book, and they were discussing the photoelectric effect and after that Planck's hypotheses and energy quantas. The book said that the mass of a ...
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Does the (relativistic) mass change? Why?

I learned recently that when an object moves with a velocity comparable to the velocity of light the (relativistic) mass changes. How does this alteration take place?
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Charge Analog of the Higgs Boson?

Since mass can be given to particles via the interaction with the Higgs Field could there be a "Charger Field" that supplies particles with charge? Possibly this would require two different "charger ...
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Does a toy top weigh less when it is spinning?

I am under the understanding that a toy top will weigh less when it is spinning. The Russians made a spinning type transport back in the 70s to lessen its payload over the tundra. Is this an effective ...
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3answers
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The impossible possibility - weightless mass

I have a hypothetical question about inertia. Let's say I have an object with inertial mass a ton (2,000 lbs.), and it is sitting in my front yard, for instance. If it would suddenly become immune ...
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2answers
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Why equivalence principle is principle and not law?

We can prove that the inertial mass and the gravitational mass should be the same (equivalence principle) from the $f=mg=ma$ then $g=a$, so we have equivalence law! But why we said equivalence ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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Is mass of the parent star is equal to the mass of the born blackhole

I want to know whether mass of the black hole which has born from a star is similar to its parent star or not. whether the born black hole will have high or low mass comparing to its parent star. ...
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Calculate mass of air in a tyre from pressure

How can one calculate the mass of air inside a tyre, given a particular tyre size; a pressure, in $kPa = \frac{1000kg}{m\cdot s^2}$; and assuming room temperature, and normal air composition? I can't ...
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How come a photon acts like it has mass in a superconducting field?

I've heard the Higgs mechanism explained as analogous to the reason that a photon acts like it has mass in a superconducting field. However, that's not too helpful if I don't understand the latter. ...
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2answers
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Do particles gain mass only at energy levels found during the big bang?

I am trying to make sure my understanding is correct. At energies and temperatures found during the big bang (or at CERN recently), the Higgs mechanism comes into effect. When it does, there is a ...
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2answers
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Lepton masses in the Standard Model

Some simple questions regarding leptonic masses in the Standard Model (SM): Why there is not an explicit mass term in addition to the effective mass term that arises from the Yukawa terms after ...
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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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817 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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2answers
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Why is Gravitational force proportional to the masses?.

We know that two mass particles attract each other with a force $$F~=~\frac{G M_1 M_2}{r^2}.$$ But what is the reason behind that? Why does this happen?
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Why Gravity attracts all objects with the same speed?

Why Gravity attracts all objects with the same speed? Is this question was solved? What is the exact answer?
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Are there any well-known theories successfully unifying the inertial and gravitational mass?

From what little I know of general relativity, the equality of inertial and gravitational mass is an axiom of the theory. I suspect that this precludes GR from unifying them in the same sense as ...
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Why do we still not have an exact (constants-based) definition for a kilogram?

I read that there is an effort to define a kilogram in terms that can exactly be reproduced in a lab. Why has it taken so long to get this done? It would seem this should be fairly important. Edit: ...
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Why are particles different sizes?

Is it correct in saying that a particles size is it's rest energy, and that particles don't actually have size (in the way you get different size objects)? What defines what sizes a particle can be? ...
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Relation between Newtons and Kilograms

Work is expressed as $W=Fd$, where the $F$ is in Newton, $d$ is in meters and result $W$ is in Joules. For example, if I take $1N$ on earth and lift it $1m$ up in the air I have done $1J$ of work. ...
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Why can't gauge bosons have mass?

Clearly, a mass term for a vector field would render the Lagrangian not gauge-invariant, but what are the consequences of this? Gauge invariance is supposed to be crucial for the renormalisation of a ...
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1answer
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Flow of freezing liquid or a melting solid

If a liquid is freezing, is equation of continuity violated? As the liquid flows, some portion of it is getting frozen. The mass of the fluid thus keeps dropping. Similarly, when a molten fluid flows ...
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Why does a semiconductor hole have a mass?

I have read that holes in semiconductor are nothing but vacancies created by electrons. But how can this vacancy i.e. hole has a mass?
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If quarks didn't have mass, could protons (and neutrons) exist?

I read here (mass of a proton) that the mass of a proton is mostly (99%) due to the energy of the strong nuclear force which binds the quarks together, and not the actual mass of the quarks. My ...