A mole is the amount of substance of a system which contains as many elementary entities as there are atoms in 0.012 kilogram (or 12 grams) of carbon-12, where the carbon-12 atoms are unbound, at rest and in their ground state.^{[1]} The number of atoms in 0.012 kilogram of carbon-12 is known as the Avogadro constant, and is determined empirically. The currently accepted value is 6.02214179(30)×10^{23} mol^{-1} (2007 CODATA).
According to the SI, the mole is not dimensionless, but has its very own dimension, namely "amount of substance", comparable to other dimensions such as mass and luminous intensity.^{[2]} (By contrast, the SI specifically defines the radian and the steradian as special names for the dimensionless unit one.)^{[3]} The SI additionally defines the Avogadro constant as having the unit reciprocal mole, as it is the ratio of a dimensionless quantity and a quantity with the unit mole.^{[3]} However, if in the future the kilogram is redefined in terms of a specific number of carbon-12 atoms (see below), then the value of Avogadro's number will be defined rather than measured, and the mole will cease to be a unit of physical significance.^{[4]}
The relationship of the atomic mass unit (u^{[5]}) to Avogadro's number means that a mole can also be defined as: That quantity of a substance whose mass in grams is the same as its formula weight. For example, iron has an relative atomic mass of 55.845 u, so a mole of iron has a mass of 55.845 grams. This notation is very commonly used by chemists and physicists.
Scientists and engineers (chemical engineers in particular) sometimes measure amount of substance in units of gram-moles, kilogram-moles, pound-moles, or ounce-moles; these measure the quantity of a substance whose mass in grams, kilograms, pounds, or ounces (respectively) is equal to its formula weight. The SI mole is identical to the gram-mole.