The kilogram (also kilogramme) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI), the metric system, 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.
|Unit system||SI base unit|
|1 kg in ...||... is equal to ...|
|Avoirdupois||≈ 2.204622 pounds|
|British Gravitational||≈ 0.0685 slugs|
The kilogram was originally defined in 1795 as the mass of one litre of water. Modern superseding definitions of a kilogram agree 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 until 2019. The kilogram was the last of the SI units to be defined by a physical artefact.
The kilogram is now defined in terms of the second and the metre, based on fixed fundamental constants of nature. 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, although the IPK and other precision kilogram masses remain in use as secondary standards for all ordinary purposes.