by brendahnelson
Tags: dead, weight, weight or live
 P: 3 My cat died recently and both my daughter and I were amazed at how much heavier he was dead than alive. I have read the posts on this website about live "dead weight" (The boy who found his sleeping sister to be much heavier to carry than when she was awake.) But the answer does not seem adequate. Does anyone know of anyone who has actually experimented with weighing a living body and then weighing the same body after death--whether human or animal? Thanks.
P: 15,319
 Quote by brendahnelson My cat died recently and both my daughter and I were amazed at how much heavier he was dead than alive. I have read the posts on this website about live "dead weight" (The boy who found his sleeping sister to be much heavier to carry than when she was awake.) But the answer does not seem adequate. Does anyone know of anyone who has actually experimented with weighing a living body and then weighing the same body after death--whether human or animal? Thanks.
A dead body will not weigh more than a live one. Let's just get that out of the way.

The difference will be in carrying a body that is
a] willing, and
b] has muscle tone to keep its shape
versus a body that is neither.

Try picking up a 30 kg box with handles. Tough it may be - until you try to pick up a 30kg bag of dry cement mix - which is virtually impossible.
P: 15,319

 Quote by brendahnelson I still need to be convinced by further arguments than the ones you have presented thus far that it is simply a matter of perception and not an actual weight change.
Well I need to be convinced that there is no teapot orbiting Jupiter.

See, the best argument against a teapot orbiting Jupiter is that there is simply no conceivable way it could be true.

You may believe it to be true, but until you put forth a hypothesis that's plausible, no rational person has any reason to spend any time on it.

Simply put, by far the best explanation is one of subjective and very poor comparison of weights under very divergent circumstances and time intervals. It explains every aspect of the mystery very neatly, and is very well supported by a huge preponderance of evidence about human perception and estimation.

 Quote by brendahnelson Etymologically the phrase can be traced as far back as 1650 (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=dead+weight). So I would assume that since at least then people were noticing that dead bodies felt heavier than live ones...
What you linked to is simply a definition of the term. There is nothing in there about dead bodies weighing more than live ones.

To sum, you have neither
1] a hypothesis as to how it could be true
2] a shred of evidence that it is true that's been tested under controlled conditions
while what you do have is
3] a hugely plausible and verified counter-theory.

Welcome to the scientific method.
 P: 1,024 Tearing it apart? Simple. Even if it were true (which it isn't), spinning objects don't weigh less than stationary ones.
 P: 777 brendahnelson, as you noted, the idea of an object being in two places at the same time IS quite preposterous. The difference between quantum physics theory and the teapot around Jupiter theory is that quantum physics has an extraordinary amount of observation and evidence to back it up, where as the teapot theory does not (and neither does the weight of life theory). Were it not for this extraordinary evidence, you would indeed be called a crackpot if you claimed that an object can be in two places, and rightfully so. Even Einstein was agaisnt quantum theory before it became irrefutable. This is why DaveC's point remains: YOU need to put forth a plausible hypothesis and extraordinary evidence to back up an extraordinary claim, and you can't just pull it out of your @ or have it rest on further extraordinary claims (as you have done). As for your question, I'm 100% certain that there have indeed been done tests to see if a body's weight changes before and after it is alive, both for that purpose in itself, or as a part of some other tests. Without checking the results, I'm also 100% certain that there is no significant difference.
Mentor
P: 12,005
 Quote by brendahnelson I take exception to your argument that because you --or even most people-- cannot conceive of something as possibly being true--that that constitutes PROOF that it cannot be true! My conjecture is that a dead body might possibly weigh more than a live one. It may not--but your argument that it cannot be true is not rational.
Dave's argument is based on very real knowledge of how the world works. When he says he cannot conceive of a reason that a dead body would weigh more than a live body so soon after death it is NOT because he cannot think of a situation, it is because the requirements for that to happen would go against the laws of nature.

 For example, most people's RESPONSE to the idea that a single object can actually be in two different places at the same time--would probably be the same as your response to me above: "there is simply no conceivable way it could be true." Yet quantum physicists have done EXACTLY that in the laboratory--produced an object being in two places at once.
To the best of my knowledge they have not. Quantum Mechanics and related principles does not allow one object to be in two different places at once. You can transfer states of a system, but not the system itself.