Kilogram gets new definition

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Scientists have changed the way the kilogram is defined.

Currently, a kilogram is defined by the weight of a platinum-based block called “Le Grand K” which is locked away in a safe in Paris.

However, researchers meeting in Versailles voted to get rid of it in favour of defining a kilogram in terms of an electric current.

The decision was made at the General Conference on Weights and Measures.

Why kill off the kilogram?
Le Grand K has been the way of measuring weight for some time. But the master kilogram and its copies have changed over the years – ever so slightly – as they deteriorated.

Over the years the change in the Le Grand K has been about 50 parts in a billion. This is about the weight of a single eyelash. But although it is tiny, the change can have important consequences.

The new electrical measurement is more stable and more accurate.

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