Scientists Work Toward Numerically Measured Calibration Weights for International Standards

Since the late 1800s, the international kilogram has been closely guarded under lock and key. Serving as the international standard by which all other kilograms are measured, experts have worked hard for over a century to protect and preserve the accuracy of this crucial piece of metal.

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During that time, sister copies have been made and stored in different nations. This allows labs and weight calibration facilities to maintain a standard around the globe. Unfortunately, something else has happened during that time, too: the international kilogram has slimmed down.

While the mass lost over the last century may seem insignificant—experts estimate it has lost 0.0001g, or roughly the same mass as a dust particle—this does indicate that the international kilogram is becoming less accurate over time.

Finding a Modern Replacement for a Timeless Measurement

To combat this subtle shift in accuracy, scientists have been working hard to find a modern take on calibration weights that can provide lasting consistency as time goes on. To do this, experts have approached the issue mathematically.

Metrologists have closely studied the kilogram, ultimately discovering a mathematical constant called Avogadro’s number. While unfathomably huge, this figure defines the number of atoms of a given substance that occupy a given volume.

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Using this figure, metrologists are able to define the number of silicone atoms in a kilogram. This has the potential to allow for replicating kilograms without referencing a prototype copy, a first in the field. This solution has the potential to allow metrologists to entirely circumvent the issue of ongoing degradation or shifts in the mass of the international prototype kilogram.

Of course, you and your team don’t need to fret about accuracy when Atlantic Scale is carrying out your calibrations! Our mass metrology lab allows us to hone in on the highest degree of accuracy available and to meet the standards you need. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, be sure to contact us online or to call our team at (973) 661-7090 today!

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