# W or mg for weight?

## You'd rather write:

2 vote(s)
10.0%
2. ### mg

18 vote(s)
90.0%
1. Jun 18, 2008

### CGUE

When working out problems in mechanics by drawing free body diagrams and so on, I personally find it better to write mg rather than W (weight) because I confuse it with work.

2. Jun 18, 2008

### stewartcs

I prefer mg as well.

CS

3. Jun 18, 2008

### Ed Aboud

Mg definitely, I find it easier to spot cancellations.

4. Jun 18, 2008

### pmb_phy

This seems like an odd question to me because W = mg is a definition of W so I don't see why people would choose one over the other. To me is like asking whether I like A or LW for the area of a square with sides L and W. Since A = LW how can you choose what you prefer?

Good question in fact. What do you prefer in the equation A = LW. Do you prefer A or do you prefer LW?

Pete

5. Jun 18, 2008

### tiny-tim

Seconded … same reason.

6. Jun 18, 2008

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
If i'm given weight I use W and if I'm given mass I use mg. It doesn't really matter, they're the same thing.

7. Jun 18, 2008

### G01

I use both depending on whether I'm given weight, or mass, like Kurdt. On the other hand, I usually substitute in mg for w whenever I can so, I have to vote for mg.

8. Jun 18, 2008

### robphy

I write $$\vec W$$, which won't be confused with work.

9. Jun 18, 2008

### Crosson

I never use any letter than capital F to stand for a force, so I write:

$$F_g$$

Or sometimes

$$F_{Weight}$$

to help the students.