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# What restriction exist in using 9.81 N per kg as the proportionality constant for determining weight?

Updated: 9/22/2023

Wiki User

11y ago

It is an approximate average value for acceleration due to gravity on the surface of the earth. It is affected by altitude, the density of the material near the surface from place to place. And of course, it is totally useless in space, on the moon or Mars.

Wiki User

11y ago

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Q: What restriction exist in using 9.81 N per kg as the proportionality constant for determining weight?
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### What does it mean to say mass and weight are porportional to each other?

That assumes gravity doesn't change. To say that two quantities, "a" and "b", are proportional means that you can write an equation: b = ka (for some constant "k"). In the case of weight: weight = mass x gravity In this case, "gravity" is the constant. That means that for different objects, the weight / mass ratio is always the same. Close to Earth's surface, this constant of proportionality - the gravity - is approximately 9.8 newton/kilogram. If you go far away from Earth, perhaps onto the surface of other planets, gravity is NOT constant, and the statement that "mass and weight are proportional" is not true.

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