Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Shrinking Kilogram?

PARIS - A kilogram just isn't what it used to be.

The 118-year-old cylinder that is the international prototype for the metric mass, kept tightly under lock and key outside Paris, is mysteriously losing weight — if ever so slightly. Physicist Richard Davis of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, southwest of Paris, says the reference kilo appears to have lost 50 micrograms compared with the average of dozens of copies.

"The mystery is that they were all made of the same material, and many were made at the same time and kept under the same conditions, and yet the masses among them are slowly drifting apart," he said. "We don't really have a good hypothesis for it."
I'm confused. If that is the "standard" how can it be changing? I'd say everyone else must be changing and it must be right. Or at least that's the logic I keep hearing from politicians.

Damn French can't even get this right.

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