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Resolution of the 3rd meeting of the CGPM (1901)
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of the 3rd CGPM

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Declaration on the unit of mass and on the definition of weight; conventional value of gn* (1)  

Taking into account the decision of the Comité International des Poids et Mesures of 15 October 1887, according to which the kilogram has been defined as unit of mass;

Taking into account the decision contained in the sanction of the prototypes of the Metric System, unanimously accepted by the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures on 26 September 1889;

Considering the necessity to put an end to the ambiguity which in current practice still exists on the meaning of the word weight, used sometimes for mass, sometimes for mechanical force;

The Conference declares

  1. The kilogram is the unit of mass; it is equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram;
  2. The word "weight" denotes a quantity of the same nature as a "force": the weight of a body is the product of its mass and the acceleration due to gravity; in particular, the standard weight of a body is the product of its mass and the standard acceleration due to gravity;
  3. The value adopted in the International Service of Weights and Measures for the standard acceleration due to gravity is 980.665 cm/s2, value already stated in the laws of some countries.


Reference:
Comptes Rendus de la 3e CGPM (1901), 1901, 70

Note:

This value of gn was the conventional reference for calculating the now obsolete unit kilogram force.

The reader should note that the official version of this Resolution is the French text.