Mass is the amount of matter an object has. We often use a triple-balance beam to measure mass .

A triple-beam balance gets its name because it has three beams that allow you to move known masses along the beam.

Here is a picture of a triple beam balance. You probably have used one in school.

There are also many other types of balances. Scientists need balances that can measure very small amounts of mass.

Because a triple beam balance compares a known mass to an unknown mass it is unaffected by gravity. Unlike a spring scale which really measures weight, the triple beam balance gives a true measure of mass.

Do you often get confused between mass and weight? Check out the Mass vs. Weight Page

Now it's time to practice your skills using the triple-beam balance.

Problem 1:

A block is put onto a triple beam balance.

What is the mass of the object (to the closest tenth of a gram)?

Remember to find the mass using a triple beam balance you must add the mass values of each of the three beams.

Type your answer in the space provided below, then hit the submit button .

The mass of the object is:

Please enter your answer for Block I in the space provided:


I f you need a calculator one is available. Click on calculator button on the right side.

Having trouble? Try this hint.

Problem 2:

A block having the same dimensions is now put on the scale. What is the mass of this object?

Please enter your answer for Block II in the space provided:


Having trouble? Try this hint.
Problem 3:

If both objects were put on the scale at the same time their total mass would be :


Please continue to the next chapter on volume .

Or search for more specific information on Mass -- Density -- Volume

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