The Kilogram Is No Longer Valid, U.S. Argues





For 130 years, the kilogram has weighed precisely one kilogram. Hasn't it? The U.S. government isn't so sure.

The precise weight of the kilogram is based on a platinum-iridium cylinder manufactured 130 years ago; it's kept in a vault in France at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Forty of the units were manufactured at the time, to standardize the measure of weight.

But due to material degradation and the effects of quantum physics, the weight of those blocks has changed over time. That's right, the kilogram no longer weighs 1 kilogram, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). And it's time to move to a different standard anyway....


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