Which Ton is Heavier: Iron or Wood?

Wood vs. Iron

You might think the answer to this question is straight forward, but this is not the case.

Archimedes’s law of floating bodies, which applies to both gases and liquids, is the key to this tricky issue.

While you might just need a pinch of iron to count one ton, you will have to fill a truckload of logs to reach one ton of wood. It is estimated that a ton of wood would be 15 times bigger in size than a ton of iron.

Although, theoretically speaking, one ton is one ton regardless of what material it is made out of, yet to measure the actual weight of both the single ton of wood and its iron equivalent you’ll have to add on top of that the weight of air pressure exerted on the surface of each objects.

The surface area of a ton of wood is larger than the surface area of a ton of iron, so the air pressure pushing down on those wooden logs will be more than that pressing against the iron pinch. Thus, the difference between both overall weights will be 2.35 kg. As a result, the actual weight of a ton of wood will be heavier by 2.35 kg than the actual weight of a ton of iron.

Don’t take anything for granted.

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Islam is the Assistant Editor of the Health & Science Section of OnIslam.net. He studied Biology as a major and he's an Administrative Member in The Astronomical Society of Mahmoud Mosque (ASMM), Egypt. He achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Anthropology from The Institute of African Researches & Studies, Cairo University.

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