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Name:  Cherish S.
Status: student
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 9/6/2004

Can some one please explain to me the relationship between Mass and Volume.Thank you and I really appreciate the help from every one!


Mass is a measure of the quantity of matter present in an object. Volume is a measure of how much space it occupies.

Mass can be measured on an instrument called a "balance" -- that is, the object whose mass is sought is placed on one side of a see-saw like device and smaller reference masses (objects) are placed on the other side until the balance swings freely at equilibrium.

The volume of an object can sometimes be determined by measurement if its various dimensions followed by a calculation of its volume based on a suitable formula. For example, a box has a volume that is the product of its length, width, and height, V = L x W x H.

It would be incorrect to assume that any small object is of low mass -- and just as incorrect to assume that any object of large volume is of necessity an object of high mass.

Density, d, is a comparison of an object's mass, m, to its volume ,V, Thus, d = m / V It is in this relationship that mass and volume work together to give on a sense of "how big" something actually is.

As you can see by examining the little formula, objects of high density will have a lot of mass occupying a relatively small volume. As mentioned above, it is incorrect to assume that an object of large volume is necessarily an object of large mass. Put another way, just because an object takes up a lot of space doesn't mean it will have a great mass. And vice versa: An object of small volume can have relatively great mass.

Consider a Ping-Pong ball and a golf ball. Both are of approximately the same volume. However, the golf ball has the greater mass and therefore the greater density.

Consider the box mentioned above: When empty, the box has a small mass compared to its mass when the box is filled with sand -- even though the volume is unchanged.

In simplest terms: Mass is a measure of the quantity of matter present in an object. Volume is a measure of how much space it occupies. As you can see, these terms do not mean the same thing.

ProfHoff 911

In common use the term "mass" is equivalent to "weight". That is not strictly true, but it will serve for the distinction you are asking. So some object has a mass of so many (grams, pounds, and so on). The term "volume" refers to the amount of space an object occupies. Volume is expressed in (cm^3, liters, quarts, gallons, etc. A dense object weighs a lot for a given volume -- steel or lead for example. A gas on the other hand is not dense. For hydrogen at 0C and 1 atm pressure it takes only 2 grams to occupy 22.4 liters which equals 0.79 ft^3. This volume is just a bit less than a cube 1x1x1 feet.

Vince Calder

Hello Cherish,

The way I think about this is to say that these two things are not related at all. Mass and volume are two properties of objects and they are independent of each other, that is, an objects mass can be high while its volume is low or the mass can be low and its volume high. These two things are a measure of different properties of an object. The volume of an object is how much space it occupies. The mass of an object is a measure of how much gravity it has (in common language, how much it weighs in a particular gravity field).

The two values can be related through another measure called density, which relates how much mass an object has if it has a specified volume.

Greg (Roberto Gregorius)


Volume is the amount of space occupied by a three-dimensional solid body, Volume is measured in terms of cubic units such as cubic centimeters and cubic meters in the metric system or cubic inches and cubic feet in the English system. Volume may also be expressed in liters and gallons used for measuring volumes of liquids.

Mass on the other hand, is the amount of matter that a body contains, and a measure of the inertial property of that body, that is, of its resistance to change of motion.

I hope that this helps.


Bob Trach

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