“Science is a beautiful gift to humanity”-APJ Abdul Kalam. Indeed! It is! The change in the definition of the kilogram is setting the standards high in the field of Science and Technology.
Scientists have officially redefined the value of one kilogram and have made it more precise for future calculations. From chemistry labs to the grocery stores, weighing scales are used everywhere!
On Friday, 16th November 2018, researchers voted to get rid of the prior system of measuring the value of kilogram and measuring its value in terms of the electric current. From 20th May 2019, all the SI units would be defined by the fundamental constants of nature.
History of measuring Kilogram
The standardization was made in the value of kilogram in 1889 i.e. 129 years back so as to avoid pandemonium. This was done by using a gold standard called the “Le Grande K”. Ever since there have been many replicas of the same created in order to standardize their weight. The fact is that even if you keep this scale inside a glass jar, it would get attracted by dust and will lead to fractional weight changes.
Hence, at the General Conference on Weight and Measures, held at Versailles scientists decided to change this Le Grande K after a rigorous session of discussion.
Why this change was necessary?
We live in a world where taking accurate measurements has become crucial in every field of area. Whether it is in drug development, nanotechnology, or precision engineering, measurements play a key role. Those in responsibility had to take this step in order to stay one step ahead.
The fluctuations in the Le Grande K might not be as big today but sooner or later in the coming 100 years, it can cause a great difference. This can lead to an unstable system of measuring weight.
How will the new system work?
It is known that electromagnet generates force and the pull of the electromagnet is directly related to the electric current which goes through the coil. Hence, a direct relationship between weight and electric current can be established.
The thorny part of the situation lies in the incredibly small value of the Planck’s constant h. It is the ratio of the weight to the electric current and in order to measure it, an instrument is used by the scientists named Kibble Balance. One side of the balance has an electromagnet while the other has the weight attached to it. A perfect measurement can be taken when the balance equals both sides.
Using this method, Planck’s constant can be calculated.
Are you about to get heavier?
The most important questions lie here! Are the calories going to work on your body any faster with this new scientific invention? Or Are the weighing scales of the grocery stores going to have any issues?
Well, sit back and take a sigh of relief! There is no such thing going to happen to you.
The decision is made to keep the upcoming generations feel secure and better. Kudos to the scientists and the researchers!