Basic Science

Concept of mass and weight

len Alfred Ajibola - Tue, 17th December, 2019 @ 10:19 PM

Topics in Basic Science

What is science? Qualities of a scientist Resources from living things Resources from animals Importance of immunization Types of Carbohydrates: Monosaccharides and Polysaccharides Carbohydrates: Disaccharides and Oligosaccharides Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS2, 2nd Term Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS3, 3rd Term Len Academy Examination Questions for Basic Science, JSS3, 2nd Term Primates: Characteristics of Primates Effects of improper waste management Waste Management: Causes of waste in the society Concept of mass and weight Mineral Salts: Sources, functions and deficiencies of macronutrients Sources, functions and deficiencies of micronutrients Len Academy questions for Basic Science JSS1 Len Academy mid-term test questions for Basic Science JSS1, 2nd Term Microorganisms causing food, water and air borne diseases Vector borne organisms and the diseases they cause Bones of the Human Skeleton


Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following diseases is associated with river blindness?

  • A. Anthrax

  • B. Lawnmower Disease

  • C. Onchocerciasis

  • D. Devil's Crunch

  • E. Trypanosomiasis

  • F. Tularemia

The vector for yellow fever is _____.

  • A. Aedes Mosquito

  • B. Female Anopheles Mosquito

  • C. Plasmodium

  • D. Flavivirus

  • E. Black Fly

  • F. Bacillus Anthracis

The bones of the head and face make up the skull. These bones are _____ in number.

  • A. 12

  • B. 14

  • C. 16

  • D. 18

  • E. 20

  • F. 22

Bacteria are not a constituent of our environment.

  • A. True

  • B. False

Below are types of drugs. Which of these is considered as pain killers?

  • A. Stimulants

  • B. Depressants

  • C. Opiods and Morphine Derivatives

  • D. Hallucinogens

  • E. Anabolic Steroids

  • F. Cannabinoids

Which of the following statement is false concerning drugs?

  • A. Drugs can be inhaled

  • B. Drugs can be injected directly into the bloodstream 

  • C. Drugs can be eaten

  • D. Drugs exist exclusively in the forms of tablets and syrups

  • E. Drugs can be placed under the tongue

  • F. Drugs can be taken with water or another liquid

Vaccination involves a process of introducing pathogens or germs into a person in order to prevent such person from the diseases they cause.

  • A. True

  • B. False

With regards to the human health, foreign bodies are best regarded as _____.

  • A. International bodies

  • B. Antilators

  • C. Antibodies

  • D. Antigens

  • E. Antibiotics

  • F. Antidotes



Mass versus Weight:

Mass and weight aren't the same thing. Mass is considered as one of the attributes of matter. This is true because matter is defined as anything that has mass and occupy space.

Please read on the concept of matter here.

From the above introduction, we can conclude that matter has two main attributes or characteristics. These are:


1. Mass:

Mass is the amount of matter a body or anything has. Think of it as the entire composition of anything.

For instance, everything you are composed of (from the top of your hair to your toe nails, including your cells, tissues, organs and systems) will account for your mass. For this reason, your mass will be significantly different from that of a newly born child.


2. Space:

Matter will always take up space no matter how small it is. This is true because some instances of matter can be microscopic. Examples of microscopic forms of matter include bacteria, protists and viruses.

Please read more on protists here.

Note: A space completely void of matter is referred to as a vacuum. A vacuum environment barely exist naturally, rather they are prepared for medical and scientific reasons.


Concept of Mass and Weight

Mass is the amount of matter in anything and it will always remain constant (the same) for that specific thing all over the universe. Consider the instance below:

Let's assume that one mole of copper has a mass 100g. If you travelled with this copper (one mole) to another country or to the moon or to planet jupiter, it will always have that same mass of 100g. This is true because it's the same amount of copper (one mole).

Please read on molecular mass with some worked calculations here.

The above instance is true because pure copper will always have the (exact) same type of atomic composition (and that's copper atoms).

You can read on Dalton's atomic theory and its modifications here.


It is noteworthy to state that gravitational force will always act on mass. In fact, it is the action of gravity on the mass of a body that gives rise to weight. You can therefore think of weight as 'gravity acting on mass'.

Below is an image that show the concept of mass and weight:

Mass and Weight - Len Academy


Weight is a function of gravity. This means that gravity accounts for our weight.

Weight can be defined as the force exerted on a body by gravity. Think of gravity as the force that pull things downwards.

Please read more on gravity here.

In comparison, one mole of copper will have different weights on the moon, earth and planet jupiter respectively. This is so because the moon and planets have got different gravitational pull acting upon them.

Jupiter has a stronger gravitational force than earth. Similarly, earth has a stronger gravity than the moon. This is a fact because: 'the bigger a body, the larger its force of gravity'.


  • Jupiter is bigger than earth. In fact it is the largest planet in the solar system.
  • Similarly, the earth is bigger than the moon. (The moon is earth's natural satellite).
  • Please read more on the solar system here.

Based on the above explanations, one mole of copper will weigh more in jupiter and least on the moon. However, it's mass will always remain constant (the same) regardless the location.

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Amazing facts in Basic Science

According to scientific research, if the first tear drop comes from the right eye, it’s tears of joy. If it comes from the left eye, then it is as a result of pain

Dentistry is the oldest profession in the world. This is considered true because a research conducted by the University of Bologna, Italy on a 14,000-year-old skull found that one rotten tooth in the jaw had been deliberately scoured and scraped with a dental tool

Scientific research has it that the human nose can distinguish more than a trillion different odors

Tiger fur and skin - Len Academy

Tigers have striped fur. So also is their skin

Red-Billed Quelea - Len Academy

The most common wild bird in the world is native to Africa, and it's the red-billed quelea with a population estimated to be around 1.5 billion

Of all animals, mosquitoes hold the record of killing most humans annually. They are responsible for the deaths of 725,000 - 1,000,000 persons yearly

Antibiotics fights and kills bacteria. However, they do nothing to a virus

All insects have six legs. However, dragonfly has six legs but can't walk

The chin is defined as the protruding part of the face below the mouth, formed by the apex of the lower lip. It is shown below:

Chin - Len Academy

Interestingly, humans are the only animals with chin

Cranberries - Len Academy

Ripe cranberries will bounce like a ball. For this reason, they are nicknamed 'bounceberries'. They will also float in water


Notable points in Basic Science

We have six classes of food. These are:

  1. Carbohydrates

  2. Proteins

  3. Fats and Oils

  4. Vitamins

  5. Mineral Salts

  6. Water

In humans, roughages are not classified as one of the classes of food. This is so because they aren't digested. Instead, roughages facilitate the movement of bowels in the large intestine (colon); and for this reason, they can become useful in treating constipation.

Food refers to anything that is ingested by living organisms, giving them nutrients and thus enabling them to stay alive.

As an instance, 99% of a panda's diet is bamboo. In this case, bamboo is considered as food to a panda since it provides a source of nutrient and keeps it alive. This is shown in the image below:

Panda eating bamboo - Len Academy

Please read more on food here

The only process in nature that actively enriches our atmosphere with oxygen is photosynthesis. Every other process like respiration, burning and combustion takes away oxygen from it. In addition, they introduce carbon(IV)oxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Photosynthesis is also the only process that takes away carbon(IV)oxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

Photosynthesis is defined as a process by which green plants manufacture food by utilizing carbon(IV)oxide and water in the presence of sunlight.

Oxygen is given off as a by-product of photosynthesis. In regards to this, it is recommended that each person plants a tree.

Matter is composed of particles which can be:

  1. Tightly packed together (as seen in solids).

  2. Loosely packed together (as seen in liquids).

  3. Completely separated (as seen in gases).

The movement of the particles of matter is a function of the overall kinetic energy present in them. You can think of kinetic energy as energy in motion.

An increase in the particles' vibrational, rotational or translational motion will imply an increase in temperature while a decrease in the particles motion (vibrational, rotational and translational) will mean a decrease in temperature. Based on this knowledge, we can therefore define temperature as the measure of the average kinetic energy possessed by the particles of matter.

You can read on the concept of matter here

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is a score derived from a set of standardized tests developed to measure a person's cognitive abilities in relation to their age group.

IQ may also be defined as the ratio of mental age (MA) to chronological age (CA) multiplied by 100.

Below are some formulas pertaining Intelligence Quotient:

  • IQ = MA x 100 ÷ CA

  • MA = Mental age

  • CA = Chronological age

  • IQ above 100 = Brilliance

  • IQ that equals 100 = Average

  • IQ below 100 = Below Average