Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A Primer on Electrical Units in the Systems International

Published

Author(s)

Neil M. Zimmerman

Abstract

I examine the dissemination of the electrical units, from basic physical laws to commercial calibrations. I discuss the important distinction between realization and representation of units, which refers back to the distinction between SI (Le Systeme International d'Unites) units and practical units. I then outline the current dissemination of electrical units, heavily based on the fundamental quantum standards (Josephson voltage and quantized Hall resistance standards), as well as on a classic metrology experiment, the calculable capacitor. We will see that this chain of unit realizations is one way physicists test the accuracy of the basic physical laws. As an example of the dissemination. I also outline the transfer chain from the primary voltage standard to the factory floor. Finally, I briefly discuss some areas of current research which have the potential to induce permanent changes in the definition of SI units (in particular the kilogram), and to close the metrology triangle.
Citation
American Journal of Physics
Volume
66
Issue
4

Keywords

electrical units, metrology, SI Units

Citation

Zimmerman, N. (1998), A Primer on Electrical Units in the Systems International, American Journal of Physics, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=14030 (Accessed June 19, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created June 1, 1998, Updated August 20, 2018