4 Stories

Metrologists to Redefine the Kilogram

The weight of the physical object is changing

(Newser) - The weight of a kilogram is changing—and metrologists want it to stop. The kilogram isn’t just an ephemeral standard of measurement; it’s a physical cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy, cast in 1879 and squirreled away under lock and key at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in... More »

The Kilogram Is Losing Weight

19th-century reference object may be off by microscopic amounts

(Newser) - To a casual observer, the plum-sized chunk of metal that rests inside a sealed, underground vault near Paris is unremarkable. But to scientists, the cylinder of platinum and iridium is one of the constants upon which science is based. It weighs exactly 1 kilogram, or at least it used to,... More »

Europe Ends 40-Year Fight Against Pints, Miles

'Metric Martyrs' applaud EU decision to back off

(Newser) - Europe unlocked horns with the UK today, abandoning its fight to ban Brits who still sell by the pound, the Times reports. Calling the campaign a “pointless battle,” an EU official conceded that British use of imperial measurements did not interfere with trade; in fact old-fashioned inches and... More »

Can You Spare a Gou of Sugar, Neighbor?

Wired offers new ways to measure up to modern life with esoteric units

(Newser) - Everyone knows about inches, minutes and grams, but what about smoots, gous and twips? Now hipsters can turn even more esoteric with these odd measurement units from Wired. The 5-foot, 7-inch "smoot" was born one night when MIT pranksters used a fairly short frat pledge to measure the Harvard... More »

4 Stories