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Watt Balance Redefines Kilogram, New Definition Effective From 2014?

Question asked by Farjand in #Coffee Room on Feb 20, 2012
Farjand · Feb 20, 2012
Rank C2 - EXPERT
If the study by National Physical Laboratory is verified, the definition of Kilogram will change soon. The parameter for measuring one of the fundamental units of SI system is presently based on a lump of Platinum-Iridium placed in Paris. However, the scientists want to provide a scientific base to it. This has led to a new concept of defining Kilogram in terms of Plank's Constant 'h'.

Platinum-Iridium Lump in Paris. It is presently the basis of Kilogram. | Image Credit: Gizmag

"Don't think too much" is our suggestion to you. It will hardly matter a couple of years later when you set out to buy 1 Kg meat. The changes will be unnoticeable to common man, however important from a scientific perspective. The concept revolves around the usage of Watt balance. It is an instrument first proposed by Brian Kibble to measure the mass parameter. Watt balance measures mass in terms of Electric Current. In other words, it is an instrument to make electrical-Mechanical conversions easier. Interestingly, Mass is the only parameter in Système International d'Unités that is defined by a physical parameter. Other units of Length, time, temperature, Electric Current and Luminous Intensity are all defined in terms of natural process occurring in nature. Even a mole does not depend on any physical attribute.

Watt Balance Apparatus | Image Credit: Wikipedia

Thorough study of defining the Kilogram is being conducted by scientists all over the world. Notable among them are Canadian researchers testing the feasibility of Watt balance in measuring mass. The decision to implement the new system may be as early as in 2014. If it is so, the unit of mass will conveniently be reproducible in anywhere in the world. Posted in: #Coffee Room

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