The kilogram is forever changed. Here’s why that matters
But that is all about to change.
Today, representatives from more than 60 countries voted during the 26th meeting of the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles, France to redefine the kilogram. Rather than basing the unit on this physical object, henceforth, the measure will be based on a fundamental factor in physics known as Planck’s constant. This infinitesimally small number, which starts with 33 zeros after its decimal point, describes the behavior of elementary packets of light known as photons, in everything from the flicker of a candle flame to the twinkle of stars overhead.
“That fundamental constant is woven into the fabric of the universe,” says Stephan Schlamminger, leader of the National Institute of Standards and Technology team who, along with an international cohort of scientists, worked to refine Planck’s constant for the kilogram redefinition. Most importantly, this value will remain the same for all time, no matter the location.
A massive change
The kilogram is one of seven base units in the International System of Units, which defines all other measurements. (The other six base units are the meter, the second, the mole, the ampere, the Kelvin, and the candela.) It’s easy to overlook the importance of units, but these seven underpin everything in our universe. They ensure stability in manufacturing, commerce, scientific innovation, and more.
Read Full Story HERE. Source & Credit @ National Geographic Society.