Metric standards will change soon

After this conference, the kilogram standard will cease to be a physical object and will be determined not directly, but with the help of a physical constant.

Now a kilogram is officially defined as the mass of a cylinder made of a platinum-iridium alloy, which is located in a vacuum vessel in France, and every 40 years it is removed from a protected place so that it can serve as a calibration tool for other goods. But, apparently, the days of this standard are numbered. 60 members of the conference will vote for a change in the system, and now the kilogram will be determined using Planck's constant.

The device, which will become the basis for the new standard, is called Kibble balance. This is a very complex and expensive equipment, which first measures the amount of electric current required to create an electromagnetic field equal to the force acting on a selected mass. In the second mode, the coil in the device, previously located between the two magnets, rises at a constant speed, and this movement induces a voltage in it proportional to the strength of the magnetic field. By measuring all three indicators (coil speed, current and voltage), you can calculate the Planck constant. It is proportional to the amount of electromagnetic energy needed to balance the mass. Thus, we get the standard electromagnetic kilogram.

Why do this? Firstly, it’s safer. If the kilogram standard disappears, for example, melts in a fire, there will be no way to verify the accuracy of the measurements. With Kibble balance, measurements are independent of one physical object. Of course, this is expensive equipment, and installing it in laboratories will require considerable investments, but such a reform will provide a more stable measurement base, as well as provide the basis for the development of more accurate measuring devices. Several metrologists who will participate in the vote admitted that most people will not understand the changes that have taken place and simply will not notice b [.

From a philosophical point of view, such a transition means a rejection of gross human dimensions and an approximation to how the universe actually works.


10 km without a parachute: what to do if you fell out of an airplane
Military Technology: Why M & M's Invented
5 easy ways to light a match-free fire in nature