The measurement of the planet's weight is derived from the
gravitational attraction that the Earth has for objects near
To make their measurements, the researchers are using a device called a torsion balance. This records nearly imperceptible accelerations from the gravitational effects of four eight-kilogram stainless steel balls on a gold-coated Pyrex plate about the size of a matchbox but just 1.5 millimetres thick. The device, operating inside an old cyclotron hall in the UW nuclear physics laboratory, is similar to one used 200 years ago to make the first measurement. But it is computer controlled and contains numerous mechanical refinements that make the more precise measurement possible. Hope this helps!
Weight is measured with a set of scales or a balance, whether electronic or analogue. The weight of an object is different to its mass. The weight is in relation to the gravitational pull so alters at different places in the universe (and earth slightly) so things weigh less on the moon but they have the same mass. Mass is measured in grams etc whereas weight should be measured in Newtons.
Because mass is conserved, which means it stays the same wherever the object goes. The weight is the force that the Earth attracts the object with, which changes when the object goes away from the Earth. Mass is measured by a balance, a pair of scales, where one mass is compared with another. Weight is measured by a spring balance, where the force of attraction by the Earth is measured by how much it extends a spring.
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