Latest Kilogram Stories

2009-12-17 15:23:51

If you've seen an Internet ad for capacitor-type power factor correction devices, you might be led to believe that using one can save you money on your residential electricity bill. However, a team including specialists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have recently explained* why the devices actually provide no savings by discussing the underlying physics. The devices"”sometimes referred to as Amp Reduction Units or KVARs**"”are touted as good...

2009-11-04 10:08:44

A theoretical physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a method for calculating the motions and forces of thousands of atoms simultaneously over a wider range of time scales than previously possible. The method overcomes a longstanding timing gap in modeling nanometer-scale materials and many other physical, chemical and biological systems at atomic and molecular levels. The new mathematical technique* can significantly improve modeling of...

2009-10-07 14:50:59

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has unveiled a method for calibrating entire waveforms"”graphical shapes showing how electrical signals vary over time"”rather than just parts of waveforms as is current practice. The new method improves accuracy in calibrations of oscilloscopes, common test instruments that measure voltage in communications and electronics devices, and potentially could boost performance and save money in other fields ranging from medical...

2009-08-26 12:55:00

The century-old challenge of transporting acetylene may have been solved in principle by a team of scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). A NIST research team has figured out* why a recently discovered material can safely store at low pressure up to 100 times as much of the volatile chemical as can be done with conventional methods.The team has probed the atomic-level workings of a metal-organic framework (MOF), a lattice-like structure made of copper...

2009-06-17 12:25:00

Biophysicists long for an ideal material"”something more structured and less sticky than a standard glass surface"”to anchor and position individual biomolecules. Gold is an alluring possibility, with its simple chemistry and the ease with which it can be patterned. Unfortunately, gold also tends to be sticky and can be melted by lasers. Now, biophysicists at JILA have made gold more precious than ever"”at least as a research tool"”by creating nonstick gold surfaces...

2008-10-10 09:00:37

Northwest Airlines Cargo has announced that it will reduce its fuel surcharges in certain markets in response to the recent decline in the price of jet fuel, effective October 20, 2008, subject to government approvals where required. The surcharges for all domestic shipments will be reduced from $0.46 to $0.42 per pound. Trans-Atlantic fuel surcharges for shipments from the US to Europe, Africa and the Middle East will be reduced from $1.10 to $1.05 per kilogram. The surcharges for...

2008-09-08 09:50:00

Just as test pilots push planes to explore their limits, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are probing the newest microscope technology to further improve measurement accuracy at the nanoscale. Better nanoscale measurements are critical for setting standards and improving production in the semiconductor and nanomanufacturing industries. This new microscope technology uses helium ions to generate the signal used to image extremely small objects, a...

2008-02-28 18:53:08

Change should have little impact on nuclear weapons complexThe kilogram is losing weight and many international scientists, including some at Sandia National Laboratories, agree that it's time to redefine it.Scientists are hoping to redefine the kilogram by basing it on standards of universal constants rather than on an artifact standard.The International Prototype Kilogram (IPK) or "Le Grand K," made in the 1880s, is a bar of platinum-iridium alloy kept in a vault near Paris."The idea is to...

2007-09-12 19:35:00

PARIS -- A kilogram just isn't what it used to be. The 118-year-old cylinder that is the international prototype for the metric mass, kept tightly under lock and key outside Paris, is mysteriously losing weight - if ever so slightly. Physicist Richard Davis of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, southwest of Paris, says the reference kilo appears to have lost 50 micrograms compared with the average of dozens of copies. "The mystery is that they were all made of the...

2006-10-11 14:33:07

At the core of ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission sit two small hearts. Each is a cube, just 5 centimetres across. Together they will allow LISA Pathfinder to lay the foundations for future space-based measurements that investigate the very core of Einstein's General Relativity. A cornerstone of relativity is the concept of a frame of reference. This is a set of bodies relative to which any motion can be measured. Without a reference frame, no motion through space can be detected. Scientists...

Word of the Day
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.