Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Metrology Overhaul

A fascinating article and a closer look at how we arrive at the various SI units and quantities that we have accepted for granted. It reports on the meeting to possibly overhaul the 7 SI units that we currently use.

Over the two days of the meeting, participants expressed varied opinions about the force and urgency of these reasons. One of the chief enthusiasts and instigators of the proposed changes is former BIPM director Terry Quinn, who also organized the meeting. "This is indeed an ambitious project," he said in his opening remarks. "If it is achieved, it will be the biggest change in metrology since the French Revolution."

Leading the way is the overhaul of our definition of a kilogram, which is still defined by an "object" rather than based on a fundamental constant. There certainly have been a ground swell to redefine this quantity.


No comments: