It may not change how you buy bananas, but scientists have voted to redefine the value of a kilogram, in what they called a landmark decision that will boost the accuracy of scientific measurements.
Since 1889, a kilogram has been defined by a shiny lump of platinum-iridium kept in a special glass case and known as the International Prototype of the Kilogram. It is housed at the headquarters of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (whose French acronym is BIPM), just outside Paris.
Members of the BIPM, which groups some 60 nations, agreed on Friday after a week-long meeting at the nearby Palace of Versailles to redefine a kilogram in terms of a tiny but unchanging value called the “Planck constant”.
They also voted to update definitions for the ampere (electrical current), the kelvin (thermodynamic temperature), and the mole (amount of a substance).