How we measure the world underwent a quantum leap on Monday as scientists adopted new hyper-accurate definitions for units of weight, electricity and temperature derived from the universal laws of Nature.

The change, on the occasion of World Metrology Day, sees one of science’s most influential objects – a metal cylinder used to define what a kilogram is – retired in favour of an infinitely more precise measurement taken from a quantum ratio.

“Le Grand K”, as the platinum-iridium object is known, stood as the world’s benchmark of the kilogram for nearly 130 years before a decision was taken in November to bring several units of measurement into the 21st century.

“The kilogram is the last unit of measurement based on a physical object,” Thomas Grenon, director of France’s National Laboratory of Metrology and Testing, said after the decision last year.

“The problem is that it’s had a life, it could fluctuate. That’s not good enough, given the level of precision we need today.

About Author

Discover more from Pachatata Kenya

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading