On Friday, April 16, 2010, 10:30 am, Terry Quinn, Director Emeritus, BIPM will present "The Metre, The Kilogram and the Creation of the BIPM" during the NIST Colloquium Series. The event will be held at the NIST Administration building, Green Auditorium. Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, contact: Kum Ham, 301-975-4203, kham [at] nist.gov. Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.
The cubit, the foot, and the yard, and the grain, the stone, and the pound -- after more than 2000 years of use, it was time for a fundamental change. This is the story of events and personalities surrounding the Metre Commission in 1872, the Diplomatic Conference of the Metre Convention in 1875, and the 15 years of work that led to the new international prototypes of the metre and the kilogram being adopted by the first General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1889. This all epitomises the fact, well known but sometimes overlooked, that it is personal, institutional and national pride and aims that decide the outcome of events such as these. Location: Administration Building, Green Auditorium.