The Kilogram Put On Some Weight


The International Prototype of the Kilogram in three nested bell jars (Photo: BIPM)

Did you gain a bit of weight after the holidays? Take heart, you're not the only one - even the kilogram itself has put on weight:

Using a state-of-the-art Theta-probe XPS machine -- the only one of its kind in the world -- the team have shown the original kilogram is likely to be tens of micrograms heavier than it was when the first standard was set in 1875. [...]

The original kilogram -- known as the International Prototype Kilogram or the IPK -- is the standard against which all other measurements of mass are set. Stored in the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris, forty official replicas of the IPK were made in 1884 and distributed around the world in order to standardise mass. The UK holds replica 18 at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

But despite efforts to protect the IPK and its duplicates, industrialisation and modern living have taken their toll on the platinum-based weights and contaminants have built up on the surface.

ScienceDaily has more: Link


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Yes, I saw that as well, but then how would "... contaminants have built up on the surface." My amusement is that the article, and perhaps the caretakers of the IPK, are blaming "... industrialisation and modern living ...". A great dodge to blame society rather than taking responsibility for not doing their job properly.
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