translated from Spanish: After 129 years, scientists from 60 countries will vote to redefine the kilogram

Friday in Versailles live a day historical when during the General Conference of weights and measures, the event that brings together scientists from 60 countries, is redefi na the value of the kilogram and other measures. So far all weight calculations are made on the basis of a constant: the kilogram. This constant is defined by the mass of a cylinder (called international prototype of kilogram) composed of an alloy of Platinum and Iridium, which is locked in a vault at the International Bureau of weights and measures, in Francia.Desde its establishment in 1889 , copies of that cylinder have been the standard from which are calibrated scales used in all aspects of life: from the laboratories to the supermarkets, both the metric system and those derived from the Imperial system (the used in the United States and Great Britain). 

But after 129 years, scientists from 60 countries (including the Argentina) will vote to replace the international prototype with a definition of the kilogram based on a constant of nature. To understand what we’re talking about is a matter of refer to another unit we use every day: the underground. Until 1960, the length of a meter was defined by a rod of the same material as the cylinder also established as the standard in 1889. However, in the Decade of the sixties was established using wavelength of light, and finally in the 17th General Conference on weights and measures in 1983 was defined that meter is equal to the distance that light in a vacuum during a fraction of a second (1/2) 99.792.458). the international prototype kilogram | Image: BIPM if the vote is positive, the kilo will begin measuring from Planck’s constant, which means that it will be a system defined by a physical object to a mathematical calculation (kg per square meter on second) whose benefit (in addition to a) extreme precision) is that it can be used in any condition, anywhere, either Earth or space. What does this mean for us, the people of a foot? Absolutely nothing. Change not be noticed beyond advanced physics laboratories, but if in doubt under these conditions will offer unprecedented precision levels so far. In this note:

Original source in Spanish

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