Every now and then, I read something very enlightening and surprising, and I find myself blown away that more people don’t know about it. It’s usually buried on the 15th page of a newspaper that seems far more front page worthy than whatever’s there. I wonder: why aren’t more people talking about this? Each month, I’ll call one out and provide a line of perspective. Send me any ideas you have!
Out with the old kilogram, in with the new -- scientists introduce more accurate measure
May 20th was World Metrology Day and on that day, the new definition of a kilogram formally went into effect. It used to be the precise weight of a piece of metal kept in France. Now, it’s based on the Planck constant, an inherently stable factor in nature that will allow for more precise measurements. The problem with the old definition was that over time, that piece of metal actually lost mass, which affected calibration.
It’s unlikely to affect many of us on an everyday basis, but this change in mass over 40 years equivalent to roughly an eyelash had “severe” repercussions for certain industries such as pharmaceuticals. For this reason, changing it makes too much sense.