Measure for Measure

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  • Juris Meija takes a look at the tumultuous past of the atomic unit of mass from its beginnings as an idea to its most recent revisions in a hotel bar.

    • Juris Meija
    Measure for Measure
  • A task group recommends values for many constants in fundamental theories of physics and chemistry. Eite Tiesinga and Peter Mohr tell some of the constants’ stories.

    • Eite Tiesinga
    • Peter Mohr
    Measure for Measure
  • The coexistence of qualitative and quantitative scales characterizes advances in earthquake measurements. Although often confused, intensity and magnitude refer to very different things, as Leonardo Benini explains.

    • Leonardo Benini
    Measure for Measure
  • The establishment of a global metric system of units as agreed upon in the Metre Convention relies on international as well as national institutes and organizations, of which Stefanie Reichert gives an overview.

    • Stefanie Reichert
    Measure for Measure
  • To celebrate the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development, James Gallagher tells the story of the British thermal unit, a unit for heat.

    • James Gallagher
    Measure for Measure
  • The idea of radiocarbon existing at equilibrium within Earth’s atmosphere has established radiocarbon dating. Adam Fleisher takes a look at its beginnings, achievements and limitations.

    • Adam J. Fleisher
    Measure for Measure
  • The laws governing electrolysis developed by Michael Faraday, who originally trained as a bookbinder, led to the determination of the Faraday constant, as Daren Caruana recounts.

    • Daren Caruana
    Measure for Measure
  • The measurement of pH is more complicated than it seems, recalls Andrea Taroni.

    • Andrea Taroni
    Measure for Measure
  • The uptake of graphene-based materials calls for standardization. Silvia Milana explains what this entails.

    • Silvia Milana
    Measure for Measure
  • The unit length of DNA is a base pair, which serves as a ruler for DNA compaction and processing, as Michelle Wang explains.

    • Michelle D. Wang
    Measure for Measure
  • Initially used to measure the brightness of radio sources, the jansky has spread to other areas of astronomy, as Natasha Hurley-Walker recounts.

    • Natasha Hurley-Walker
    Measure for Measure
  • A single equation can describe how fluids flow across a wide range of length scales, from ocean currents to swimming algae. The difference merely lies in the Reynolds number, says Julia Yeomans.

    • Julia M. Yeomans
    Measure for Measure
  • As the namesake of a variety of constants, distributions and equations, Ludwig Boltzmann has earned his place in the physics hall of fame. But as Ankita Anirban reveals, he cannot take sole credit for the most famous constant bearing his name.

    • Ankita Anirban
    Measure for Measure
  • What does it mean for an individual to be ‘important’ or for a connection to be ‘outstanding’? The answer depends on context, as Sarah Shugars and Samuel V. Scarpino explain.

    • Sarah Shugars
    • Samuel V. Scarpino
    Measure for Measure
  • Surface scientists love a good vacuum. The reason for this is captured by the work of Irving Langmuir and the little-known unit bearing his name, explains Daniel Payne.

    • Daniel T. Payne
    Measure for Measure
  • The metric system is one of the enduring achievements of the French Revolution. Martin Milton recounts how it was also intended to unite nations.

    • Martin J. T. Milton
    Measure for Measure
  • Simulations are as much a part of science as hypothesis and experiment. But can their outcomes be considered observations? Wendy S. Parker investigates.

    • Wendy S. Parker
    Measure for Measure
  • Within the Hartree atomic unit systems, the Schrödinger equation becomes parameter free. But there’s more to it than making a student’s life easier, as Gordon Drake and Eite Tiesinga recount.

    • Gordon W. F. Drake
    • Eite Tiesinga
    Measure for Measure
  • In first-century China, emperor Wang Mang standardized weights and measures in his newly established dynasty. Noa Hegesh tells the story of sound as the basis for this standardization.

    • Noa Hegesh
    Measure for Measure
  • The assembly of the more than a million single parts of the ITER tokamak requires large-scale three-dimensional precision metrology. John Villanueva Jr gives us insights into the complexity of this project.

    • John Villanueva Jr
    Measure for Measure