(Roughly) Daily


In an effort to sharpen the definition of a kilogram (currently defined by a 120-year-old lump of platinum in Paris… a lump the mass of which is changing relative to copies held elsewhere), researchers have created the most perfect spheres ever made– “rough spots” stick out no more than 0.3 nanometers– in order to be able to count the atoms they contain, and attain a more “perfect” standard.

Read the whole New Scientist story (replete with photos and video) here.

As we polish our marbles, we might might recall that it was on this date in 1687 that Isaac Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica was published by the Royal Society… and the world’s understanding of itself changed forever.

(Newton, who went on to become Master of the Mint– and thus keeper of England’s most important standards– would surely have approved of the “more perfect spheres”…)


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Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 5, 2008 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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