The definition of a kilogram is about to change and how will we know how much we weigh??
Despite having weighed myself in kilograms for quite some time, I've never really contemplated exactly who or what decides what a kilogramis(other than, obviously, being 1,000 grams).
But it turns out, the definition of a kilogram is measured by the weight of a platinum-based block locked inside a safe in Paris. The block, funnily enough, is called 'Le Grand K'.
But here's an interesting thing: scientists are about to change the way they quantify a kilogram, so it's no longer measured in accordance with Le Grand K.
Yup, the definition of a kilogram is about to change.
Although Le Grand K has been a widely respected mechanism for measuring weights for almost 130 years, scientists have decided it's time to move on due to its increasing inaccuracy. Being a physical object, Le Grand K's weight has naturally changed over the years as it has deteriorated. The deterioration may only be minute (estimated to be less than the weight of a single eyelash), but its progressive flaws mean it's becoming ever-more inaccurate in a scientific world where accuracy is vital.
Instead, scientists want to measure a kilogram using electrical current, based on the proven theory that there's a link between weight and electric current. TheBBCexplains that, in order to determine weight, an electrical current would be run though an electromagnet until two sides of a scale are perfectly balanced. Upon reaching the perfect point of balance, scientists can measure the electric current, and therefore the weight of a kilogram.
Sounds simple, right? Oh, who am I kidding. It's confusing AF and I really wasn't a fan of physics in school.
But the main thing you need to know is that the physical weight of a kilogram won'tactually change. So if you're 60 kilograms, or 160 kilograms, you can assume it's all staying the same - there's just a behind-the-scenes change to make it all a whole lot more accurate.
Glad we've cleared that up for you.
Video: The kg is dead, long live the kg
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