World Metrology Day 2018 with Fluke Chief Corporate Metrologist Jeff Gust
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I’m Jeff Gust, chief corporate
metrologist for Fluke Corporation. I’m here to talk about the redefinition of
the kilogram as part of the celebration for World Metrology Day 2018. The theme
this year is constant evolution of the International System of Units.
The kilogram is part of the International System of Units or SI
which is the modern form of the metric system. The SI represents the base units
of measurement. This year something new and important is going to happen to the
SI. Everything that you thought that you knew about the kilogram will change. The
kilogram was originally defined as the mass of 1 liter of water at 4 degrees
Celsius, the point at which water is the most dense. It was replaced by a platinum
cylinder artifact in the late 18th century. The International prototype
kilogram or Le Grand K has been the world standard of math since 1889. It is
stored in a locked vault near Paris, France. Opening the vault requires three
keys from different parts of the world. At the last weigh-in, Le Grand K had
lost about 50 micrograms which is roughly the weight of a single grain of
sand. This is a problem because if the value of the kilogram changes, it
influences every other measurement of mass in the world which results in
trillions of dollars in trade differences. We need to find a definition
of the kilogram based on an unchanging constant of nature, and, while it’s not
been officially decided yet, we anticipate that later this year the
kilogram will be based on a constant of nature – Planck’s Constant. This fall, a
draft resolution on the revision of the International System of Units will be
submitted to the General Conference on Weights and Measures at its 26th meeting.
I’m excited about the upcoming change to the kilogram and the advancements in
measurement science that have happened and are continuing to happen in our
lifetime. Fluke builds the world’s most accurate, commercially-available
standards for electrical, temperature, pressure, and flow measurement. Fluke’s
instruments are routinely used by the world’s best scientists as part of the
evolution of our system of measurement. This wouldn’t be possible without the
tireless efforts and valuable contributions of every employee within
our company. So, on behalf of Fluke Corporation, happy
World Metrology Day!

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