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You have a bag of cotton and an iron bar, each indicating a mass of 100 kg when measured on a weighing machine. In reality, one is heavier than other. Can

you say which one is heavier and why?

Sciences - Main Course Book

Chapter 10. Gravitation



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In reality, there is a lot of air on top of the cotton bag.  The atmospheric pressure is 1 atm = 10⁵ Newtons / m².

If the surface area of the cotton bag is 4 meter square, then the weight of air column on top of the cotton bag = 10⁵ * 4 = 400, 000 kg.

If the platform of the weighting machine and iron bar is  3 m², then the weight due to air column on weighing machine, when the iron bar is placed = 3 * 10^5 kg.

Thus the reading is more when the cotton bag is placed on the weighing machine.

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