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Dec 13, 2016

Viewpoint: A New Era for the Ampere

Posted by in category: quantum physics

Improving Precision with Quantum — A new Precise Quantum Current Source developed to ensure calibrated currents meet the new redefined International System of Units.


A precision quantum current source has been designed to calibrate currents in terms of the soon-to-be-redefined International System of Units.

Metrologists are conservative by nature, knowing that the premature adoption of a new measurement standard could lead to confusion in both science and commerce. So it is a big deal that the International System of Units (SI) is poised to undergo its first major overhaul since its birth in 1960. Two years from now at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Paris, officials will adopt a new SI in which every unit can be obtained from fixed values of several fundamental constants [1]. All eyes are on the kilogram, which will no longer be defined by the mass of a cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy that has been kept in a Parisian vault since it was fabricated in 1889. Somewhat overlooked, however, are advances in standards for electrical resistance and voltage, without which the new SI would not be possible.

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