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Massive News: Kilogram Redefinition Heads Into Crucial Test

Superprecise standard masses are on their way to Paris for a critical weigh-in

3 min read
Massive News: Kilogram Redefinition Heads Into Crucial Test
Masses in Motion: Canada will send a cousin of this kilogram mass to Paris for a dry run of the unit’s redefinition. It’ll be joined by masses from around the world.
Photo: National Research Council of Canada

K50 is going on a trip.Sometime soon, the golf-ball-size cylinder of platinum and iridium, which makes its home in Ottawa, will be carefully packed up and hand carried by a member of Canada’s diplomatic corps on a plane to France, with special instructions that its case not be opened by customs or airport security.

This precious cargo will join a small clutch of similar objects that will trickle into Paris in the coming weeks. Their destination: the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) just outside the city, where they’ll be compared with one another to see just how well their estimated masses match up.

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
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Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida
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What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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