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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
Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida

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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