Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Weight vs. force

A Frenchman, filling out a form writes "78 kg" in the space marked Poids (weight). However, weight is a force and the kg is a mass unit. What do the French (among others) have in mind when they use a mass to report their weight? Why don't they report their weight in Newtons? How many Newtons does this Frenchman weigh? How many pounds?

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Page last modified October 15, 2002: D22