Pound (symbol: lb) is a unit of mass used in the imperial and US customary systems of measurement. The international avoirdupois pound (the common pound used today) is defined as exactly 0.45359237 in kilograms. The avoirdupois pound is equivalent to 16 avoirdupois ounces.
History: Pound descended from the Roman libra, and numerous different definitions of the pound were used throughout history prior to the international avoirdupois pound that is widely used today. The avoirdupois system is a system that was commonly used in the 13th century. It was updated to its current form in 1959. It is a system that was based on a physical standardized pound that used a prototype weight. This prototype weight could be divided into 16 ounces, a number that had three even divisors (8, 4, 2). This convenience could be the reason that the system was more popular than other systems of the time that used 10, 12, or 15 subdivisions.
Useage: The pound as a unit of weight is widely used in the United States, often for measuring body weight. Many versions of the pound existed in the past in the United Kingdom (UK), and although the UK largely uses the International System of Units, pounds are still used within certain contexts, such as labelling of packaged foods (by law the metric values must also be displayed). The UK also often uses both pounds and stones when describing body weight, where a stone is comprised of 14 pounds.
History: Gram was defined as the absolute weight of pure water in a cubic centimeter at the temperature of melting ice (later 4 °C). The gram used to be a fundamental unit of mass as part of centimeter-gram-second systems of units up until the widespread adoption of SI, which uses kilograms as the base unit of mass. The gram was later redefined as one thousandth of a kilogram, the SI (meter-kilogram-second system of units) base unit of mass.
Useage: The gram is widely used in every life as well as scientific contexts. For example, the gram is typically used to measure non-liquid ingredients used for cooking or groceries. Standards on the nutrition labels of food products often require the relative contents to be stated per 100 grams of the product.
Kilogram (symbol: kg) is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI). It is currently defined based on the fixed numerical value of the Planck constant, h, which is equal to 6.62607015 × 10-34 in the units of J·s, or kg·m2·s-1. The meter and the second are defined in terms of c, the speed of light, and cesium frequency, ΔνCs. Even though the definition of the kilogram was changed in 2019, the actual size of the unit remained the same. The changes were intended to improve the definitions of SI base units, not to actually change how the units are used throughout the world.
History: The name kilogram was derived from the French "kilogramme," which in turn came from adding Greek terminology meaning "a thousand," before the Late Latin term "gramma" meaning "a small weight."
Unlike the other SI base units, the kilogram is the only SI base unit with an SI prefix. SI is a system based on the meter-kilogram-second system of units rather than a centimeter-gram-second system. This is at least in part due to the inconsistencies and lack of coherence that can arise through use of centimeter-gram-second systems, such as those between the systems of electrostatic and electromagnetic units.
kilogram was originally defined as the mass of one liter of water at its freezing point in 1794, but was eventually re-defined, since measuring the mass of a volume of water was imprecise and cumbersome.
A new definition of the kilogram was introduced in 2019 based on Planck's constant and changes to the definition of the second. Prior to the current definition, the kilogram was defined as being equal to the mass of a physical prototype, a cylinder made of a platinum-iridium alloy, which was an imperfect measure. This is evidenced by the fact that the mass of the original prototype for the kilogram now weighs 50 micrograms less than other copies of the standard kilogram.
Useage: As a base unit of SI, the kilogram is used globally in nearly all fields and applications, with the exception of countries like the United States, where the kilogram is used in many areas, at least to some extent (such as science, industry, government, and the military) but typically not in everyday applications.
An ounce (symbol: oz) is a unit of mass in the imperial and US customary systems of measurement. The avoirdupois ounce (the common ounce) is defined as exactly 28.349523125 grams and is equivalent to one sixteenth of an avoirdupois pound.
History: The origin of the term ounce stems from the Roman uncia, which means a "twelfth part," and the use of a standardized copper bar which defined both the Roman pound and foot. The copper bar was divided into twelve equal parts, called unciae. This relationship between the Roman pound and foot eventually contributed to the uncia being the basis of the modern inch as well as the common ounce. The ounce has been used as a standard of mass throughout history for different applications and with different definitions. Examples include the Dutch metric ounce (100g), French ounce (30.59g), and the Spanish ounce (28.75g), among others. The current definition of the ounce, the international avoirdupois ounce was adopted in 1959.