# Kilogram

The **kilogram** (also **kilogramme**[1]) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), having the unit symbol **kg**. It is a widely used measure in science, engineering and commerce worldwide, and is often simply called a **kilo** colloquially. It means 'one thousand grams'.

Kilogram | |
---|---|

General information | |

Unit system | SI |

Unit of | mass |

Symbol | kg |

Conversions | |

1 kg in ... | ... is equal to ... |

Avoirdupois | ≈ 2.204623 pounds[Note 1] |

British Gravitational | ≈ 0.0685 slugs |

The kilogram is defined in terms of the second and the metre, both of which are based on fundamental physical constants. This allows a properly equipped metrology laboratory to calibrate a mass measurement instrument such as a Kibble balance as the primary standard to determine an exact kilogram mass.[2][3]

The kilogram was originally defined in 1795 during the French Revolution as the mass of one litre of water. The current definition of a kilogram agrees with this original definition to within 30 parts per million. In 1799, the platinum *Kilogramme des Archives* replaced it as the standard of mass. In 1889, a cylinder of platinum-iridium, the International Prototype of the Kilogram (IPK), became the standard of the unit of mass for the metric system and remained so for 130 years, before the current standard was adopted in 2019.[4]