The unified atomic mass unit or dalton is the standard unit that is used for indicating mass on an atomic or molecular scale. One unified atomic mass unit is approximately the mass of one nucleon and is equivalent to 1 g/mol. It is defined as one twelfth of the mass of an unbound neutral atom of carbon-12 in its nuclear and electronic ground state, and has a value of 1.660538921×10^−27 kg. The CIPM has categorised it as a non-SI unit accepted for use with the SI, and whose value in SI units must be obtained experimentally.

The amu without the "unified" prefix is technically an obsolete unit based on oxygen, which was replaced in 1961. However, some sources still use the amu but now define it in the same way as u. In this sense, most uses of atomic mass units or amu today actually refer to unified atomic mass units or u. For standardization a specific atomic nucleus had to be chosen because average mass of a nucleon depends on the count of the nucleons in the atomic nucleus due to mass defect. This is also why the mass of a proton by itself is more than 1 u.

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