How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 74

If you lifted an object with a hanging scale on earth and it read 15 N, would it read the same on Jupiter? What about the gravitational force pulling the object down? Wouldn't that alter the reading on the scale? Would you have to calibrate another scale to measure mass on Jupiter?
No, the scale would not read the same on Jupiter, and there would be nothing wrong with the scale! On Jupiter, the object would simply weigh more than on earth. Its mass wouldn't have changed and it would still contain the same number of atoms, but Jupiter would pull on it harder. As a result, the scale would have to pull upward on it harder and the scale would read a larger number of newtons. You wouldn't want to recalibrate the scale because it would be doing its job: it would correctly report that the object weighed about 40 N.

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