How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 5

Doesn't weight have resistance to acceleration?
No, weight measures a different characteristic of an object. Mass measures inertia (or equivalently resistance to acceleration). But weight is just the force that gravity exerts on an object. While an object that has great weight also has great mass and is therefore hard to accelerate, it's not the weight that's the problem. To illustrate this, imagine taking a golf ball to the surface of a neutron star, where it would weigh millions of pounds because of the incredibly intense gravity. That golf ball would still accelerate easily because its mass would be unchanged. Only its weight would be affected by the local gravity. Similarly, taking that golf ball to deep space would reduce its weight almost to zero, yet its mass would remain the same as always.

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