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I performed an experiment in which a mass was hung from a spring. I want to refer to the mass of the mass hung from said spring, but that leads to quite a few awkward sentences. I cannot refer to the mass as a weight, since masses and weights are two different things. Is there some alternate way of saying "The mass of the mass"?

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    Just call it something other than "the mass," such as "the mass of the object"?
    – herisson
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 18:20

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This is usually simply avoided

The mass of the mass is 10 kg.

can be

The mass is 10 kg.

It's a contextual problem. They used to refer to a computer case and it's insides as a CPU which was confusing if you wanted to mention the CPU chip in the same context. In any one context it's best if X means only one thing.

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The mass of the suspended "object." The problem here is of course that mass means something very specific in physics. For example, in common language usage, I might say "there is a mass of vomit on the bathroom floor." In that usage, I'm not particularly interested in knowing precisely what it's mass is.

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  • Hmm... I suppose I could use that, but in a sense I'm giving up precision of language when using "object" instead of "mass". Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 18:23
  • I do "get" the problem...your mass and spring are intended to be physical-world representations of components of a math equation...so you like to use unit terms that directly translate.
    – dwoz
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 18:31

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