>Melting! Melting!

29 Jan

>What a world: The kilogram is shrinking. That is, either it’s shrinking or the other kilos it is compared to are growing; there’s no way to be certain.

To add to the fun, there’s no consensus on what should replace the present physical standard. Most of the other basic units have some derivable definition, such that given a physics lab and a few tens of thousands of dollars, you could dope out your own Meter or Second (and feed a starving grad student). Not so with the unit of mass.

You realize that if each kilogram is lighter, it looks like I’m getting heavier, don’t you? So unfair!

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13 Responses to “>Melting! Melting!”

  1. Alan 29 January 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    >So that's why I've been gaining weight. I'm so relieved.

  2. Stretch 29 January 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    >Harumph! Just remember "The pint's a pound the world around." I blame the Hadron Collider for the reducing mass.

  3. Gewehr98 29 January 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    >The original kilogram reference standard is shielded, but the copies are experiencing neutron capture, increasing their mass? (I'll be here all week. Try the veal!)

  4. warlocketx 29 January 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    >Actually, there is something to make immutable kilograms out of: Plank's Constant.Scaling up is a bit tedious.Regards,Ric

  5. perlhaqr 30 January 2011 at 12:28 am #

    >Massier, not heavier. If you retain the same volume, technically you're just becoming denser. Also, your inertia is higher. See, you're just harder to push around now!

  6. Roberta X 30 January 2011 at 1:17 am #

    >Denser. Oh, soooo much better to be the dense girl and not the fat girl, oh yes.

  7. perlhaqr 30 January 2011 at 2:30 am #

    >Ok, so, I fail at comforting. Doh. 😉

  8. Stranger 30 January 2011 at 4:56 am #

    >I have never understood why a system based on the known to be incorrect distance from the inaccessible at the time North Pole, and the obvious Center of the Universe, Paris, should be considered any more desirable standard of distance than the dubious length of a dead king's foot. Nor does it follow that other measurements based on that incorrect distance are in some way holy, natural, or anything else. They are convenient – to some. And no more or less than convenient. To some. But a pint's still just right and 500 CC's is too much. StrangerWV, scadvir. One of the Frost Giants children.

  9. Roberta X 30 January 2011 at 6:52 am #

    >Factors of ten, Stranger, factors of ten. It really does make for fewer errors.

  10. Ian Argent 30 January 2011 at 9:24 am #

    >I thought a gram was defined as 1 CC of H2O @ 0 C – or at least 1 g was equal to &c…Or have I filed an incorrect "fact"?

  11. Mousie762 30 January 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    >Ian, it was. Then it was redefined as the mass of the same volume at 4 degrees C, then the weight of the reference standard made from that.I'm not clear what the problem with the 4 degrees C Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water definition was. I guess it must be difficult to measure with enough precision.

  12. CGHill 30 January 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    >Yeah, but factors of ten can be applied anywhere, should you so desire. Consider, for instance, the millifortnight (approximately 20 minutes).

  13. Ian Argent 30 January 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    >I prefer factors of 12, myself, or factors of 60…It makes arbitrary decision ever so much easier.If I can't have those, given a factor of 8 (2^2^2)

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