My salad dressing days


Honey, I shrunk the kilogram
July 25, 2005, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For some time now I’ve been worrying about the Paris kilogram. In case you hadn’t realised, it’s losing weight.

And I’m confused on two fronts: how do they know it has lost weight? (With what precisely are they comparing it?) And does this mean my diet was more or less successful than I previously thought?

Anyways, I think we need to get behind a bunch of scientists who are suggesting replacing the kilogram artifact — a cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy about the size of a plum — with a definition based on one of two unchanging natural phenomena, either a quantity of light or the mass of a fixed number of atoms.

I couldn’t agree more.

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7 Comments so far
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thing with replacing it those absolutes there would be nothing to look at, which isn’t so much fun.

Comment by Jane

I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to physics, nevertheless, I’m fascinated by it. You ask, Mrs Chick, how on earth do they know the Paris Kilogram has lost weight? What do they compare it with? If it was me I would use whatever it is they compare it with and dispense with the alloy. And in the case of the photons or atoms: if as the quantum physicists tell us, the Universe is an ever-changing flux, how can they ever pin anything down to measure it, and once again, what is the standard they use? I bet the truth is simple – they’ve got a cheapo pair of scales from Poundland which they whip out when no one’s looking. It’s like computer sofware demonstrations – carefully set up to amaze and dazzle, but it’s a fake. Smoke and mirrors, that’s what it is.

Comment by Swifty

i must say, the cheapo scales from poundland was my hunch too

and i am equally confused about using a bunch of atoms (do atoms come in bunches for starters?)

wish i’d tried harder at physics at school…i got bored after we did the lesson on making your hair static

Comment by Urban Chick

Did you ever do the iron-filings and magnet trick? I’m referring of course to an experiment in your physics class 🙂

Comment by Swifty

I think they had problems with the metre as well.

Comment by Justine

Ooooh! It’s shiny!

Comment by GodlessMom

So long as it means I can eat more chocolate and weigh the same, I’m all for it!

Comment by Hannah




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