Measurement

Many of these columns were incorporated into World in the Balance.  My interest in the subject came about after I asked Physics World editor Matin Durrani what topics generated the most heated feedback at science magazines.  “Religion and measurement,” he replied.  I understood the first but not the second, and began to investigate.

 

 

Measuring Culture (Physics World Link)

Now that physicists are on the verge of perfecting their system for measuring objects, what is preventing them from measuring values too? (April 2013).

Measuring the Earth (Physics World Link)

The precise shape of the Earth is now remarkably well known, but it was first measured by perhaps the oldest and most humble of instruments – the pendulum (March 2012).

Chinese Metrology (Physics World Link)

China had the earliest known fully organized system of weights and measures, which lasted for millennia. Guangming Qiu’s life and career studying the history of Chinese metrology has been as surprising as the subject itself (July 2011).

Metrology in the Balance (Physics World Link)

The world’s leading metrologists debate the biggest overhaul of the SI since the French Revolution (March 2011).

Au Revoir, Kilogram! (Physics World Link)

I witness one of the last inspections of the kilogram standard (Dec. 2010).

Body Talk (Physics World Link)

I behold a pitilessly precise 3D model of his near-naked body as I discover a new application of physics in the consumer marketplace (September 2010).

Missed Metric Moment (Physics World Link)

The unfortunate saga of Joseph Dombey contributed to the failure of the US to capitalize on an early opportunity to go metric (July 2010).

Favorite Measurement Units (Physics World Link)

Non-SI units persist, and are sometimes even popular, among the physics community (February 2010).

What’s So Funny, Mr. Duchamp? (Physics World Link)

What’s so funny about Duchamp’s “Joke about the Meter”? (December 2009)

Your Best Unit (Physics World Link

The origins of some common units of measurement (September 2009).

Shifty Constants (Physics World Link)

Do some fundamental constants need fixing?  (December 2008)

Constants(Physics World Link)

Have we defined our fundamental constants with maximum efficiency? (February 2008)