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Basic Metrology for 2020



Stephan Schlamminger, Richard Davis


2019 was a big year for Metrology. The international system of units was revised on World Metrology Day, May 20th, that year [1]. What will 2020 bring? In this article we discuss five promising advances that we have on a watchlist for 2020. First, we describe the measurement of volume and gas pressure using electromagnetic waves. These measurements rely on the fixed value of the speed of light in vacuum c0. We then pivot to the Planck constant h. SI traceable measurements of mass and force can be obtained from h. Interesting developments are coming in mass metrology since the definition pivoted from the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram to the value of the Planck constant. Adding the elementary charge e to h, gives access to resistance and impedance measurements via the quantum Hall effect. This has been a very interesting field for some time, since the discovery of graphene in 2004. In the last section, new applications that exploit the new definition of thermodynamic temperature based on a fixed value of the Boltzmann constant, kB. While it is difficult to compete with the excitement in metrology of last year, we are convinced that fun and exciting developments are in store for basic metrology in 2020.
IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine


basic metrology, SI, Fundamental constants


Schlamminger, S. and Davis, R. (2020), Basic Metrology for 2020, IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created April 29, 2020, Updated March 1, 2021