What is Weight in Science? - Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is Energy? - Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What Is Weight?
  • 0:27 Weight as a Force
  • 1:06 Matter & Weight
  • 2:11 Weight on the Moon
  • 2:29 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Wendy McDougal

Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education.

When you step onto a scale, you find out how much you weigh. But what does weight really measure, and what makes it vary depending on the object? Read more to find out.

What Is Weight?

Do you know how much you weigh? If not, what is the best way to find out? That's right, you can step onto a scale. Now here's another question: would your weight change if you took your scale to the moon and weighed yourself there?

In fact, you would weigh much less on the moon than you do here on Earth. Why? In this lesson, we'll answer this question as we take a closer look at what defines weight.

Weight as a Force

Let's imagine that you're standing on a scale to find out your weight. As you stand on the scale, it's actually measuring the relationship between you and a particular force. Can you guess which force that is? If you said gravity, you are correct!

Weight is actually a measure of the amount of force that you exert on the scale. This force is due to the pull of gravity.

Gravity, as you probably already know, is the force that pulls everything down. Whether we're talking about an elephant or a feather, gravity hugs everything to the earth in the same way.

Since the force of gravity is always the same, why do different objects weigh different amounts? The answer lies in how much matter the object has. Okay, so what is matter?

Matter & Weight

Just about everything is matter. For starters, you are matter. The chair you are sitting on is matter. In fact, when you look around, everything you see is matter. But that's not all: even the invisible air around you is matter!

That's because matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. When you multiply the amount of matter in something by the force of gravity, you get that thing's weight.

Matter x Gravity = Weight

As you might guess, the more matter on the scale, the higher the weight. For example, you can take a balloon and set it on the scale, recording its weight. Next, blow up the very same balloon. Now you have added matter to that balloon in the form of air. This creates more force, and therefore more weight.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support