# How to mass an object that is less dense than air?

• Ralphonsicus
In summary, the conversation discusses how to measure the mass of an object that is less dense than air, such as a balloon, due to the lack of reliable gravity. The concept of buoyancy is mentioned and a helpful webpage is provided for further understanding. The conversation also addresses the importance of being clear in asking a question and suggests using a digital scale in a vacuum chamber for measurement.
Ralphonsicus
How does one go about massing an object less dense than air (like a balloon), because gravity can then not be relied on?

What do mean by "massing"? Note - "mass" is a noun, not a verb.

Just pretend you are weighing the object underwater and the page should work fine. If you want to do the calculations by hand you can find them on wikipedia's page on Buoyancy as well as on the first site linked.

mathman said:
What do mean by "massing"? Note - "mass" is a noun, not a verb.

Having trouble understanding? Drakkith seemed to cope just fine.

Drakkith said:

Just pretend you are weighing the object underwater and the page should work fine. If you want to do the calculations by hand you can find them on wikipedia's page on Buoyancy as well as on the first site linked.

Thanks, just what I was looking for.

Ralphonsicus said:
Having trouble understanding? Drakkith seemed to cope just fine.

It's important to always be clear as to what you are asking.

Place the object on a digital scale inside of a vacuum chamber.

## 1. How is mass measured for an object that is less dense than air?

The mass of an object that is less dense than air is typically measured using a balance or scale. The object is placed on one side of the balance and standard weights are placed on the other side until the balance is level. The total mass of the object can then be calculated by adding up the mass of the weights.

## 2. Can an object that is less dense than air have a negative mass?

No, an object's mass cannot be negative. Mass is a measure of the amount of matter an object contains, and it is always a positive value. However, the object's weight may appear to be negative if it is floating or suspended in air due to buoyancy forces.

## 3. How does the density of an object affect its mass?

The density of an object does not directly affect its mass. Mass is a measure of the object's total amount of matter, while density is a measure of how tightly packed that matter is. However, the mass of an object can be used to calculate its density by dividing the mass by the volume.

## 4. Can an object that is less dense than air have a greater mass than a similar object that is more dense?

Yes, an object that is less dense than air can have a greater mass than a similar object that is more dense. This is because mass is a measure of the total amount of matter an object contains, and density is a measure of how tightly packed that matter is. So, even if an object is less dense, it may still have a greater amount of matter and therefore a greater mass.

## 5. How can the mass of an object that is less dense than air be used to determine the buoyant force acting on the object?

The mass of an object that is less dense than air can be used to determine the buoyant force acting on the object by comparing the object's weight to its apparent weight when immersed in a fluid. If the object weighs less when immersed, this indicates that the buoyant force is greater than the object's weight and is helping to keep it afloat. The difference between the object's weight and its apparent weight is equal to the buoyant force acting on the object.

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