The Heavily Guarded Heart of Weight Calibration

When it comes to measurements, replication is the name of the game. You can tell a lab across the country that something weighs three times more than the rock you found in the parking lot, but that doesn’t do them much good unless they have the same rock to use for comparison. Adhering to a consistent standard is key for weight calibration.

Calibration weights

In the scientific community, kilograms have served as a nearly universal standard for over 200 years. 1799 saw the birth of the kilogram, initially defined as the mass of one liter of water at 4º C. This lasted for nearly a century, until scientists found themselves in need of a more stable unit for weight calibration.

The International Prototype Kilogram was crafted from platinum-idirium alloy and honed to perfection. To this day it remains locked in an environmentally controlled environment in Sèvres, France. Every 50 years the prototype emerges for comparison against its sister copies. The copies are used as models for a collection of replicas kept around the world.

The Magic of Metric

As its name suggests, a kilogram is equal to 1,000 grams. A milliliter of pure water occupies precisely one cubic centimeter and has a mass of one gram. This creates a wonderful sense of harmony between mass and volume. As such, a liter of water checks in at one kilogram.

Weight calibration

Beyond this, one calorie of energy raises one milliliter of water by one degree Celsius, given that the water is between its freezing and boiling points. One degree Celsius, of course, is 1% of the difference between the water’s freezing and boiling points.

These related measurements are more than coincidences, allowing scientists around the world to derive a wealth of information from a single, reproducible unit of measurement! Of course, this depends on accurate equipment and calibration weights. To ensure all of your equipment is properly calibrated for precise results, contact us at Atlantic Scale online or call our team at (973) 661-7090 today!

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