Neither weight nor buoyancy change the actual mass of an object. But both weight and buoyancy act against each other when an object is in water.
Whether an object sinks or floats is related to its weight and buoyant force. Weight is the “downward” pressure on an object, the gravitational force that is exerted on it. Buoyancy is the “upward” pressure, determining how much it can float. If these two pressures are equal to each other, the object is buoyant and stays afloat.
As mentioned, mass is not necessarily affected by an object’s buoyancy. Buoyancy is an opposing force to gravity, which try to pull an object down under the water. Another variable that affects an object’s buoyancy is density of the object. Take a wooden log for example: though the log itself is quite heavy, it still floats on the surface of the water because wood is less dense than water, which causes the floatation. Another aspect of this sentiment is that an object with an empty interior volume that holds something with less density will float. A ship made out of steel sounds like it would sink, because metal is much more dense than water. When the ship’s interior volume is filled with air, the ship is able to float.
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