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.

Filed Under: battery, helium, hydrogen, kilogram


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  1. identicon
    KD, 2 Feb 2011 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm really not a fan of something with two protons being called "hydrogen", ...

    The attribute of an atom that determines its chemical properties is the number and condition of the electrons that are available for chemical reactions. The protons take only an indirect role in that they establish some of the conditions that govern the energies of the electrons. Since it is chemical properties under study, naming according to the element with the most similar chemical properties is not a surprising approach.

    You are correct that this "super heavy hydrogen" is something new, and if this sort of substitution of electrons by muons ever becomes more than a lab curiosity, inventing a new name for it would be appropriate. However, as long as all the descriptions qualify the name with some suggestive adjectives and use scare quotes to further alert the reader that this isn't your father's hydrogen under discussion, I think there is very little danger of confusion, and even some benefit in that we won't have to learn the correspondence between the current element names and the newly-invented names for their analogs.

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