DailyDirt: Scientific Measurements
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Accurate scientific measurements are pretty important. It's actually hard to overstate how critical it is to science that measurements can be repeated. (Hello, Cold Fusion...) But it's not quite an easy task to get everyone to agree to the same metrics -- especially when different approaches might have different results. Still, we make do with what we've got -- and looking at the fine details of measuring stuff has lead to discoveries like buckyballs, the heliocentric model of our neck of the universe, and all sorts of cool stuff. So here are a few quick links on measuring things.
- The official kilogram may be losing mass -- or its official copies are gaining mass? Either way, being able to maintain a mass standard that doesn't drift by 50 micrograms is probably something we should figure out. [url]
- Relativistic effects are at work in lead acid batteries -- and apparently account for about 1.7 volts in a standard 2.11 V lead acid battery. Relativistic effects in heavy atoms (like lead) have been known for a long time, but it's interesting to think that these effects are present every time you start your car (assuming your car has a lead acid battery, that is). [url]
- Chemists have made a "super-heavy hydrogen" from a helium atom, by replacing an electron with muon. Helium that acts like hydrogen is a pretty cool trick, letting chemists measure reactions rates in a new way. [url]