“A New Kilogram in 2018: The Biggest Revolution in Metrology since the French Revolution”
Presented by Professor Klaus von Klitzing
Nobel Laureate and Director of Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Germany
Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at 5 p.m.
ECE Building, 306 N. Wright Street, Urbana
Grainger Auditorium, Room 1002
Metrology- the science of measurements- is responsible for the international uniformity and precision in standards. Today, the seven units for meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, and candela of our international system of units (SI units) are used as a basis to express everything in nature by numbers and units. The first global system of units was introduced during the French Revolution with prototypes for the meter and kilogram. Even today, an artefact of platinum iridium is by definition the international unit of mass but this standard is not stable enough. Therefore, a recommendation to replace the current SI by a new system based on constants of nature is expected for 2018. The quantum Hall effect (Nobel Prize 1985) plays a crucial role in this development.
Klaus von Klitzing was born in 1943 in Schroda. He received his PhD from the University of Würzburg in 1972. After research stays in England, USA and France he became a Professor at the Technical University in Munich in 1980. Since 1985 he is director at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany. He has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1985 for the discovery of the Quantum Hall Effect. He has published more than 500 papers and received a large number of national and international awards. He holds 20 honorary degrees. Besides many other fellowships he is a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.