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This video is about the international system of units (SI), the international prototype kilogram (the IPK or “le grande k”), and specifically, why we need to redefine our base units in terms of fundamental constants – aka, concepts & ideasĀ – rather than physical objects. The second is already defined in terms of a certain number of oscillations of a photon of the ground state hyperfine splitting energy of Cesium, the meter is then defined as how far light travels in a particular fraction of a second, and hopefully soon, the kilogram will be defined either using the Avogadro approach of counting silicon atoms in a sphere, or using the Watt (Kibble) Balance approach of measuring Planck’s constant, h, as used in the formula E=hf for the energy of a photon, which relates to mass via Einstein’s famous E=mc^2.


Most Recent Kilogram/Planck Constant Measurement: https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2017/06/new-measurement-will-help-redefine-international-unit-mass

International Bureau of Weights and Measures page: http://www.bipm.org/en/measurement-units/base-units.html

Future Definitions of SI Base Units: http://www.bipm.org/en/measurement-units/rev-si/

Resolution to redefine Kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole based on fundamental constants: http://www.bipm.org/en/CGPM/db/25/1/

Hyperfine levels of an atom (Cesium, in this case): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_level#Hyperfine_structure

Cesium: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesium#Atomic_clocks

Atomic Clocks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_clock

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Created by Henry Reich



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