Based on the physical constant of quantum physics, the SI unit of weight measurement kilogram, receives a new definition. The scientists’ from different countries votes for the same. A few months back, different scientists from all across 57 nations gathered around for a conference to redefine the kilogram.
Since 1889, the definition of the kilogram was based on a golf ball sized chunk of platinum and iridium. They are placed under three glass bell jars. It was known as Le Grand K. It has been at the forefront of measurement since the past century. Several replicas were created and distributed on every part of the globe. The process affected purity over the last 129 years. The international prototype was forged, and the kilogram lost a small amount of its material. The difference was something around 50 parts of a million, which was near about the weight of an eyelash. Even though it was an extremely negligible weight, but was predicted to bring negative consequences for all the researchers in this field.
Thus these scientists made a decision to officially change the definition of the kilogram in a meeting in France. This was arguably a more meaningful definition. Different scientific activities used this definition. After the official announcement, this universal definition will be used for measuring every scientific value. This will include the determination of the amount of coffee, calculating the shipping cost in e-commerce and logistics, measuring the rocket fuel use and many more.
The chief of quantum measurements from the US National Institutes of Standards and Technology said, that this new definition has been derived from a 3000 years old technology. This idea of comparing two light objects with a balance is prevalent since the Egyptian era. But for determining the mass of an object without another is more abstract than the former one. Therefore from now on, the kilogram will be defined by an immutable fundamental value known as plank’s constant. In this definition, the scientist will observe a more accurate weighing. The electromagnetic force, which is to measure the mass of an object, will be done by Kibble balance.
What is Plank’s constant?
The plank’s constant is defined as a fundamental constant of quantum physics that is known to link the amount of energy that a photon carries with the frequency of its electromagnetic wave. This constant was named after Max Plank who worked on the theory. He did this to establish the relationship between radiation and temperature of an object. Later he came up with a formula that matched closely to his experiment. He assumed that if the energy of a vibrating molecule is quantized and the energy was proportional to the frequency vibration, then the proportional frequency will come in small chunks. This can be then multiplied by a particular constant. This constant came to be known as Planck’s constant, or h. It was derived as the formula, which was known to have the value 6.626×10-34 J x s.
One of the biggest upsides is that is constant is soon to derive the exact definition of the kilogram unlike in the past, where you needed to compare the mass of an object with the big K.
How critical is this measurement?
This new definition is going to be extremely critical as this will now be used in many areas including drug development, nanotechnology, and precision engineering as well.
The effects of the change
It is now finally announced that the definition of the kilogram has been officially changed from 20th May 2019. This has been done on World Metrology Day. However, a lot of scientists have said that most people won’t even notice the change. On a kitchen scale, there will be no significant difference for the baking ingredients. The tons of goods that are shipped globally every day will not be affected.
The changes are more likely to affect the following people.
- The scientists who are calculating the movement of stars and galaxies might have to change the way they work.
- It is likely to affect the pharmaceuticals, measuring doses of medications.
- For the people working with metrics regularly will also witness changes in the way they work. The metric system which is rational and universal is most likely to affect as well.
According to scientists, Max Planck actually long predicted this change. He said that this constant would someday be necessary to make measurements based on natural constants.