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The Concept of Mass 

March 18, 2018
“The greatest enemy of knowledge 
is not ignorance, it is the illusion of 
knowledge.”- Stephen Hawking 
demanded by Einstein's equivalence 
Mass, in physics, the quantity of matter  principle of ​relativity​; so that at the 
in a body regardless of its volume or of  same location equal (inertial) masses 
any forces acting on it. The term should  have equal weights. Because the 
not be confused with ​weight​, which is  numerical value for the mass of a body 
the measure of the force of gravity  is the same anywhere in the world, it is 
acting on a body. Under ordinary  used as a basis of reference for many 
conditions the mass of a body can be  physical measurements, such as 
considered to be constant; its weight,  density and heat capacity. According to 
however, is not constant, since the  the special theory of relativity, mass is 
force of gravity varies from place to  not strictly constant but increases with 
place. There are two ways of referring  the speed according to the 
to mass, depending on the law of  formula m=m​0​/1-v​2​/c​2​, where m​0​ is the 
physics defining it: gravitational mass  rest mass of the body, v is its speed, 
and inertial mass. The gravitational  and c is the speed of light in vacuum. 
mass of a body may be determined by  This increase in mass, however, does 
comparing the body on a beam balance  not become appreciable until very great 
with a set of standard masses; in this  speeds are reached. The rest mass of a 
way the gravitational factor is  body is its mass at zero velocity. The 
eliminated. The inertial mass of a body  special theory of relativity also leads to 
is a measure of the body's resistance to  the Einstein mass-energy 
acceleration by some external force.  relation, E=mc​2​, where E is the energy, 
One body has twice as much inertial  and m and c are the (relativistic) mass 
mass as another body if it offers twice  and the speed of light, respectively. 
as much force in opposition to the same  Because of this equivalence of mass 
acceleration. All evidence seems to  and ​energy​, the law of conservation of 
indicate that the gravitational and  energy was extended to include mass as a 
form of energy. 
inertial masses of a body are equal, as