The Not-So-Perfect Kilogram and Why the Metric System Might Be Screwed

Hidden in a vault outside Paris, vacuum-sealed under three bell jars, sits a palm-sized metal cylinder known as the International Prototype Kilogram, or “Le Grand K.” Forged in 1879 from an alloy of platinum and iridium, it was hailed as the “perfect” kilogram—the gold standard by which other kilograms would be judged.

But at its most recent weigh-in in 1988, it was found to be 0.05 milligrams—about the weight of a grain of sand—lighter than its underling replicas. And that’s making scientists nervous.

Continue Reading: The Not-So-Perfect Kilogram

  1. lilygoodspeed reblogged this from mentalflossr
  2. onechrisn reblogged this from mentalflossr
  3. chiataur reblogged this from mentalflossr
  4. cicmareck reblogged this from mentalflossr
  5. jenninsandiego reblogged this from mentalflossr
  6. aeaustin13 reblogged this from mentalflossr
  7. kberryhill reblogged this from mentalflossr
  8. itskimtang reblogged this from rarishes
  9. jcatgrl reblogged this from mentalflossr
  10. its-thelibrarian reblogged this from religionisbullshit
  11. sonnyjong reblogged this from mentalflossr
  12. mrcorystrauss reblogged this from mentalflossr
  13. darlenesunshine reblogged this from mentalflossr
  14. dumscivisti reblogged this from wassupdude
  15. callmelogic reblogged this from howstuffworks
  16. rococoandabsinthe reblogged this from mentalflossr and added:
    Oh shit… now what to think about theory versus fact and the laws of physics it’s self… this may just shift everything in...
  17. hrollvekjandi reblogged this from mentalflossr
  18. thelittleemma reblogged this from mentalflossr
  19. wassupdude reblogged this from mentalflossr
  20. ay-lee reblogged this from mentalflossr
  21. agentfrancisyorkmorgan reblogged this from mentalflossr and added:
    snort
  22. psychnerdd reblogged this from mentalflossr
  23. dreadfulleavemethefuckalone reblogged this from mentalflossr