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06/17/2007 09:54 AM ID: 63082 Permalink   

Scientists to Grind Perfect Pair of Balls

 

Over a period of twelve weeks, Australian scientists will grind a pair of the world's most perfect balls, to serve as the world's new global standard kilogram.

The current standard, a bar of platinum and iridium locked in a French vault since 1889, has been slowly deteriorating, and needs replacing. The new balls will be made from a crystal of silicon-28 grown over 3 years by Russian and German scientists.

Each ball will not only be perfect in measurements and weigh exactly one kilogram, but because the silicon is stable and perfect on a molecular level, the kilogram standard will be based not on the object but on the mass of individual atoms.

 
  Source: beta.cnn.com  
    WebReporter: awhompbamboom Show Calling Card      
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  19 Comments
  
  I can see the future of this thing  
 
At last, a method of accurately weighing a kilo of cocaine. How did the world survive without this?
 
  by: White Albino   06/17/2007 10:33 AM     
  It's an accurately defined weight and measure.  
 
It's got to be better than a system thats based on how long the end of the kings thumb is.
 
  by: CrisW   06/17/2007 03:33 PM     
  I could use them!  
 
Damn! Wrong context.
 
  by: old man   06/17/2007 04:43 PM     
  @ChrisW  
 
The King's thumb?
Oh. I was thinking of something slightly larger.
 
  by: White Albino   06/17/2007 07:19 PM     
  i dont understand...  
 
i didn't realize that a "standard kilogram" was a ball. what does the perfect roundness of the ball have to do with the accuracy of the weight? why can't it be a square? why not a completely asymmetrical object that weighs exactly 1kg? why spend 3 years growing a perfect ball anyway? i assume this was done with tax money?
 
  by: maverick7h     06/17/2007 09:09 PM     
  because...  
 
a sphere is more perfect then a square or something like that. Maybe something to do with sacred geometry and weight....

"The spheres will be a step along the perfect kilogram road, with the project's ultimate aim to re-define the kilogram in terms of numbers of atoms, rather than an object open to damage from earthquake or environmental changes."
 
  by: Vhan     06/18/2007 12:31 AM     
  Oh and...  
 
the standard was a "a bar of platinum and iridium." Now it will be a ball. They spent 3 years to grow the crystal because they know a lot about the silicon-28. I don't know if they used tax money to pay for this, but if they did then only the Australians have to worry about this.
 
  by: Vhan     06/18/2007 12:35 AM     
  I just listen to any politician  
 
with an axe to grind and I've got a ton of bullsh*t. Why bother with small weights?
 
  by: White Albino   06/18/2007 12:36 AM     
  @maverick7h  
 
A sphere would weigh the same on all sides.
 
  by: Nollog   06/18/2007 12:52 AM     
  @Nollog  
 
So would a box, or any other amorphous blob.

Do you think you weigh less when you're lying down?
 
  by: GNoBB   06/18/2007 02:44 AM     
  Every timepiece, rule, and measure  
 
is a calibrated from a set of standards maintained in strict conditions. It might not seem much to you, but when you're working with technologies that have a precious requirement of 1/100th of a gram, it becomes highly significant and important that all your devices and measuring instruments are correctly calibrated to that standard.
 
  by: lauriesman     06/18/2007 05:13 AM     
  Isn't the standard for time  
 
derived from the oscillation rate of a Cecium atom?
 
  by: White Albino   06/18/2007 10:24 AM     
  @Old Man  
 
I’ve met a lot of guys that thought theirs were ‘perfect’ and they all ran dry after 3-4 rounds. That’s far from ‘perfect’. At one kilo each that will be a hell of a set. If they let you sport them we’ll need to talk.
 
  by: Valkyrie123     06/18/2007 04:59 PM     
  Valk  
 
Thanks for the offer, but sad to say it looks like it's not to be. But only three or four? Maybe I am not as far gone as I first surmised. Thanks again for the enlightenment!
 
  by: old man   06/18/2007 05:43 PM     
  @Valk  
 
All together now!-
I've got a loverly bunch of coconuts!
 
  by: cavador   06/19/2007 11:23 AM     
  I believe they have spheres  
 
because the sphere takes up less space for the same amount of mass?

Of course I could be talking completely out of my mass right now ;)
 
  by: zephan     06/20/2007 07:58 AM     
  The metric idea  
 
I thought was based on the idea that a 10cmx10cm cube of water would weigh one kilogram, and one ml of water weighs one gram?

Did I make that up, or misread something?
 
  by: Tek   06/20/2007 10:58 AM     
  @Tek  
 
Its distilled water, but no, you are correct.
 
  by: Gogevandire   06/20/2007 11:25 AM     
  WOW! A kilo and a new outlook.  
 
It's a CRYSTAL ball. Will it tell the future as well?
 
  by: illEagle   06/25/2007 05:42 PM     
 
 
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