Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies atomic nuclei and their constituents and interactions. Other forms of nuclear matter are studied. Nuclear physics should not be confused with atomic physics, which studies the atom as a whole, including its electrons. Discoveries in nuclear physics have led to applications in many fields; this includes nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging and agricultural isotopes, ion implantation in materials engineering, radiocarbon dating in geology and archaeology. Such applications are studied in the field of nuclear engineering. Particle physics evolved out of nuclear physics and the two fields are taught in close association. Nuclear astrophysics, the application of nuclear physics to astrophysics, is crucial in explaining the inner workings of stars and the origin of the chemical elements; the history of nuclear physics as a discipline distinct from atomic physics starts with the discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896, while investigating phosphorescence in uranium salts.
The discovery of the electron by J. J. Thomson a year was an indication that the atom had internal structure. At the beginning of the 20th century the accepted model of the atom was J. J. Thomson's "plum pudding" model in which the atom was a positively charged ball with smaller negatively charged electrons embedded inside it. In the years that followed, radioactivity was extensively investigated, notably by Marie and Pierre Curie as well as by Ernest Rutherford and his collaborators. By the turn of the century physicists had discovered three types of radiation emanating from atoms, which they named alpha and gamma radiation. Experiments by Otto Hahn in 1911 and by James Chadwick in 1914 discovered that the beta decay spectrum was continuous rather than discrete; that is, electrons were ejected from the atom with a continuous range of energies, rather than the discrete amounts of energy that were observed in gamma and alpha decays. This was a problem for nuclear physics at the time, because it seemed to indicate that energy was not conserved in these decays.
The 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Becquerel for his discovery and to Marie and Pierre Curie for their subsequent research into radioactivity. Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 for his "investigations into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances". In 1905 Albert Einstein formulated the idea of mass–energy equivalence. While the work on radioactivity by Becquerel and Marie Curie predates this, an explanation of the source of the energy of radioactivity would have to wait for the discovery that the nucleus itself was composed of smaller constituents, the nucleons. In 1906 Ernest Rutherford published "Retardation of the α Particle from Radium in passing through matter." Hans Geiger expanded on this work in a communication to the Royal Society with experiments he and Rutherford had done, passing alpha particles through air, aluminum foil and gold leaf. More work was published in 1909 by Geiger and Ernest Marsden, further expanded work was published in 1910 by Geiger.
In 1911–1912 Rutherford went before the Royal Society to explain the experiments and propound the new theory of the atomic nucleus as we now understand it. The key experiment behind this announcement was performed in 1910 at the University of Manchester: Ernest Rutherford's team performed a remarkable experiment in which Geiger and Marsden under Rutherford's supervision fired alpha particles at a thin film of gold foil; the plum pudding model had predicted that the alpha particles should come out of the foil with their trajectories being at most bent. But Rutherford instructed his team to look for something that shocked him to observe: a few particles were scattered through large angles completely backwards in some cases, he likened it to firing a bullet at tissue paper and having it bounce off. The discovery, with Rutherford's analysis of the data in 1911, led to the Rutherford model of the atom, in which the atom had a small dense nucleus containing most of its mass, consisting of heavy positively charged particles with embedded electrons in order to balance out the charge.
As an example, in this model nitrogen-14 consisted of a nucleus with 14 protons and 7 electrons and the nucleus was surrounded by 7 more orbiting electrons. Around 1920, Arthur Eddington anticipated the discovery and mechanism of nuclear fusion processes in stars, in his paper The Internal Constitution of the Stars. At that time, the source of stellar energy was a complete mystery; this was a remarkable development since at that time fusion and thermonuclear energy, that stars are composed of hydrogen, had not yet been discovered. The Rutherford model worked quite well until studies of nuclear spin were carried out by Franco Rasetti at the California Institute of Technology in 1929. By 1925 it was known that protons and electrons each had a spin of +/-1⁄2. In the Rutherford model of nitrogen-14, 20 of the total 21 nuclear particles should have paired up to cancel each other's spin, the final odd particle should have left the nucleus with a net spin of 1⁄2. Rasetti discovered, that nitrogen-14 had a spin of 1.
In 1932 Chadwick realized that radiation, observed by Walther Bothe, Herbert Becker, Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie was due to a neutral particle of about the same mass as the proton, that he called the neutron (following a su
Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright reddish yellow, soft and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a group 11 element, it is solid under standard conditions. Gold occurs in free elemental form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, in alluvial deposits, it occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver and naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less it occurs in minerals as gold compounds with tellurium. Gold is resistant to most acids, though it does dissolve in aqua regia, a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid, which forms a soluble tetrachloroaurate anion. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals, a property that has long been used to refine gold and to confirm the presence of gold in metallic objects, giving rise to the term acid test. Gold dissolves in alkaline solutions of cyanide, which are used in mining and electroplating.
Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys. A rare element, gold is a precious metal, used for coinage and other arts throughout recorded history. In the past, a gold standard was implemented as a monetary policy, but gold coins ceased to be minted as a circulating currency in the 1930s, the world gold standard was abandoned for a fiat currency system after 1971. A total of 186,700 tonnes of gold exists above ground, as of 2015; the world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, 10% in industry. Gold's high malleability, resistance to corrosion and most other chemical reactions, conductivity of electricity have led to its continued use in corrosion resistant electrical connectors in all types of computerized devices. Gold is used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, tooth restoration. Certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine; as of 2017, the world's largest gold producer by far was China with 440 tonnes per year.
Gold is the most malleable of all metals. It can be drawn into a monoatomic wire, stretched about twice before it breaks; such nanowires distort via formation and migration of dislocations and crystal twins without noticeable hardening. A single gram of gold can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, an avoirdupois ounce into 300 square feet. Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become semi-transparent; the transmitted light appears greenish blue, because gold reflects yellow and red. Such semi-transparent sheets strongly reflect infrared light, making them useful as infrared shields in visors of heat-resistant suits, in sun-visors for spacesuits. Gold is a good conductor of electricity. Gold has a density of 19.3 g/cm3 identical to that of tungsten at 19.25 g/cm3. By comparison, the density of lead is 11.34 g/cm3, that of the densest element, osmium, is 22.588±0.015 g/cm3. Whereas most metals are gray or silvery white, gold is reddish-yellow; this color is determined by the frequency of plasma oscillations among the metal's valence electrons, in the ultraviolet range for most metals but in the visible range for gold due to relativistic effects affecting the orbitals around gold atoms.
Similar effects impart a golden hue to metallic caesium. Common colored gold alloys include the distinctive eighteen-karat rose gold created by the addition of copper. Alloys containing palladium or nickel are important in commercial jewelry as these produce white gold alloys. Fourteen-karat gold-copper alloy is nearly identical in color to certain bronze alloys, both may be used to produce police and other badges. White gold alloys can be made with nickel. Fourteen- and eighteen-karat gold alloys with silver alone appear greenish-yellow and are referred to as green gold. Blue gold can be made by alloying with iron, purple gold can be made by alloying with aluminium. Less addition of manganese, aluminium and other elements can produce more unusual colors of gold for various applications. Colloidal gold, used by electron-microscopists, is red. Gold has only one stable isotope, 197Au, its only occurring isotope, so gold is both a mononuclidic and monoisotopic element. Thirty-six radioisotopes have been synthesized, ranging in atomic mass from 169 to 205.
The most stable of these is 195Au with a half-life of 186.1 days. The least stable is 171Au. Most of gold's radioisotopes with atomic masses below 197 decay by some combination of proton emission, α decay, β+ decay; the exceptions are 195Au, which decays by electron capture, 196Au, which decays most by electron capture with a minor β− decay path. All of gold's radioisotopes with atomic masses above 197 decay by β− decay. At least 32 nuclear isomers have been characterized, ranging in atomic mass from 170 to 200. Within that range, only 178Au, 180Au, 181Au, 182Au, 188Au do not have isomers. Gold's most stable isomer is 198m2Au with a half-life of 2.27 days. Gold's least stable isomer is 177m2Au with a half-life of only 7 ns. 184m1Au has three decay paths: β+ decay, isomeric
The metre or meter is the base unit of length in the International System of Units. The SI unit symbol is m; the metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum in 1/299 792 458 of a second. The metre was defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole – as a result the Earth's circumference is 40,000 km today. In 1799, it was redefined in terms of a prototype metre bar. In 1960, the metre was redefined in terms of a certain number of wavelengths of a certain emission line of krypton-86. In 1983, the current definition was adopted; the imperial inch is defined as 0.0254 metres. One metre is about 3 3⁄8 inches longer than a yard, i.e. about 39 3⁄8 inches. Metre is the standard spelling of the metric unit for length in nearly all English-speaking nations except the United States and the Philippines, which use meter. Other Germanic languages, such as German and the Scandinavian languages spell the word meter. Measuring devices are spelled "-meter" in all variants of English.
The suffix "-meter" has the same Greek origin as the unit of length. The etymological roots of metre can be traced to the Greek verb μετρέω and noun μέτρον, which were used for physical measurement, for poetic metre and by extension for moderation or avoiding extremism; this range of uses is found in Latin, French and other languages. The motto ΜΕΤΡΩ ΧΡΩ in the seal of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, a saying of the Greek statesman and philosopher Pittacus of Mytilene and may be translated as "Use measure!", thus calls for both measurement and moderation. In 1668 the English cleric and philosopher John Wilkins proposed in an essay a decimal-based unit of length, the universal measure or standard based on a pendulum with a two-second period; the use of the seconds pendulum to define length had been suggested to the Royal Society in 1660 by Christopher Wren. Christiaan Huygens had observed that length to be 39.26 English inches. No official action was taken regarding these suggestions.
In 1670 Gabriel Mouton, Bishop of Lyon suggested a universal length standard with decimal multiples and divisions, to be based on a one-minute angle of the Earth's meridian arc or on a pendulum with a two-second period. In 1675, the Italian scientist Tito Livio Burattini, in his work Misura Universale, used the phrase metro cattolico, derived from the Greek μέτρον καθολικόν, to denote the standard unit of length derived from a pendulum; as a result of the French Revolution, the French Academy of Sciences charged a commission with determining a single scale for all measures. On 7 October 1790 that commission advised the adoption of a decimal system, on 19 March 1791 advised the adoption of the term mètre, a basic unit of length, which they defined as equal to one ten-millionth of the distance between the North Pole and the Equator. In 1793, the French National Convention adopted the proposal. In 1791, the French Academy of Sciences selected the meridional definition over the pendular definition because the force of gravity varies over the surface of the Earth, which affects the period of a pendulum.
To establish a universally accepted foundation for the definition of the metre, more accurate measurements of this meridian were needed. The French Academy of Sciences commissioned an expedition led by Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre and Pierre Méchain, lasting from 1792 to 1799, which attempted to measure the distance between a belfry in Dunkerque and Montjuïc castle in Barcelona to estimate the length of the meridian arc through Dunkerque; this portion of the meridian, assumed to be the same length as the Paris meridian, was to serve as the basis for the length of the half meridian connecting the North Pole with the Equator. The problem with this approach is that the exact shape of the Earth is not a simple mathematical shape, such as a sphere or oblate spheroid, at the level of precision required for defining a standard of length; the irregular and particular shape of the Earth smoothed to sea level is represented by a mathematical model called a geoid, which means "Earth-shaped". Despite these issues, in 1793 France adopted this definition of the metre as its official unit of length based on provisional results from this expedition.
However, it was determined that the first prototype metre bar was short by about 200 micrometres because of miscalculation of the flattening of the Earth, making the prototype about 0.02% shorter than the original proposed definition of the metre. Regardless, this length became the French standard and was progressively adopted by other countries in Europe; the expedition was fictionalised in Le mètre du Monde. Ken Alder wrote factually about the expedition in The Measure of All Things: the seven year odyssey and hidden error that transformed the world. In 1867 at the second general conference of the International Association of Geodesy held in Berlin, the question of an international standard unit of length was discussed in order to combine the measurements made in different countries to determine the size and shape of the Earth; the conference recommended the adoption of the metre and the creation of an internatio
A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole; the field includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies; the study and practice of physics is based on an intellectual ladder of discoveries and insights from ancient times to the present.
Many mathematical and physical ideas used today found their earliest expression in ancient Greek culture, for example in the work of Euclid, Thales of Miletus and Aristarchus. Roots emerged in ancient Asian culture and in the Islamic medieval period, for example the work of Alhazen in the 11th century; the modern scientific worldview and the bulk of physics education can be said to flow from the scientific revolution in Europe, starting with the work of Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler in the early 1600s. Newton's laws of motion and Newton's law of universal gravitation were formulated in the 17th century; the experimental discoveries of Faraday and the theory of Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism were developmental high points during the 19th century. Many physicists contributed to the development of quantum mechanics in the early-to-mid 20th century. New knowledge in the early 21st century includes a large increase in understanding physical cosmology; the broad and general study of nature, natural philosophy, was divided into several fields in the 19th century, when the concept of "science" received its modern shape.
Specific categories emerged, such as "biology" and "biologist", "physics" and "physicist", "chemistry" and "chemist", among other technical fields and titles. The term physicist was coined by William Whewell in his 1840 book The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences. A standard undergraduate physics curriculum consists of classical mechanics and magnetism, non-relativistic quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, laboratory experience. Physics students need training in mathematics, in computer science. Any physics-oriented career position requires at least an undergraduate degree in physics or applied physics, while career options widen with a Master's degree like MSc, MPhil, MPhys or MSci. For research-oriented careers, students work toward a doctoral degree specializing in a particular field. Fields of specialization include experimental and theoretical astrophysics, atomic physics, biological physics, chemical physics, condensed matter physics, geophysics, gravitational physics, material science, medical physics, molecular physics, nuclear physics, radiophysics, electromagnetic field and microwave physics, particle physics, plasma physics.
The highest honor awarded to physicists is the Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded since 1901 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. National physics professional societies have many awards for professional recognition. In the case of the American Physical Society, as of 2017, there are 33 separate prizes and 38 separate awards in the field; the three major employers of career physicists are academic institutions and private industries, with the largest employer being the last. Physicists in academia or government labs tend to have titles such as Assistants, Professors, Sr./Jr. Scientist, or postdocs; as per the American Institute of Physics, some 20% of new physics Ph. D.s holds jobs in engineering development programs, while 14% turn to computer software and about 11% are in business/education. A majority of physicists employed apply their skills and training to interdisciplinary sectors. Job titles for graduate physicists include Agricultural Scientist, Air Traffic Controller, Computer Programmer, Electrical Engineer, Environmental Analyst, Medical Physicist, Oceanographer, Physics Teacher/Professor/Researcher, Research Scientist, Reactor Physicist, Engineering Physicist, Satellite Missions Analyst, Science Writer, Software Engineer, Systems Engineer, Microelectronics Engineer, Radar Developer, Technical Consultant, etc.
A majority of Physics terminal bachelor's degree holders are employed in the private sector. Other fields are academia and military service, nonprofit entities and teaching. Typical duties of physicists with master's and doctoral degrees working in their domain involve research and analysis, data preparation, instrumentation and development of industrial or medical equipment and software development, etc. Chartered Physicist is a chartered status and a professional qualification awarded by the Institute of Physics, it is denoted by the postnominals "CPhys". Achieving chartered status in any profession denotes to the wider community a high level of specialised subject knowledge and professional competence. According to the Institute of Physics, holders of the award of the Chartered Physicist demonst
System of measurement
A system of measurement is a collection of units of measurement and rules relating them to each other. Systems of measurement have been important and defined for the purposes of science and commerce. Systems of measurement in use include the International System of Units, the modern form of the metric system, the imperial system, United States customary units; the French Revolution gave rise to the metric system, this has spread around the world, replacing most customary units of measure. In most systems, length and time are base quantities. Science developments showed that either electric charge or electric current could be added to extend the set of base quantities by which many other metrological units could be defined. Other quantities, such as power and speed, are derived from the base set: for example, speed is distance per unit time. A wide range of units was used for the same type of quantity: in different contexts, length was measured in inches, yards, rods, furlongs, nautical miles, leagues, with conversion factors which were not powers of ten.
Such arrangements were satisfactory in their own contexts. The preference for a more universal and consistent system only spread with the growth of science. Changing a measurement system has substantial financial and cultural costs which must be offset against the advantages to be obtained from using a more rational system; however pressure built up, including from scientists and engineers for conversion to a more rational, internationally consistent, basis of measurement. In antiquity, systems of measurement were defined locally: the different units might be defined independently according to the length of a king's thumb or the size of his foot, the length of stride, the length of arm, or maybe the weight of water in a keg of specific size itself defined in hands and knuckles; the unifying characteristic is. Cubits and strides gave way to "customary units" to meet the needs of merchants and scientists. In the metric system and other recent systems, a single basic unit is used for each base quantity.
Secondary units are derived from the basic units by multiplying by powers of ten, i.e. by moving the decimal point. Thus the basic metric unit of length is the metre. Metrication is complete or nearly complete in all countries. US customary units are used in the United States and to some degree in Liberia. Traditional Burmese units of measurement are used in Burma. U. S. units are used in limited contexts in Canada due to the large volume of trade. A number of other jurisdictions have laws mandating or permitting other systems of measurement in some or all contexts, such as the United Kingdom – whose road signage legislation, for instance, only allows distance signs displaying imperial units – or Hong Kong. In the United States, metric units are used universally in science in the military, in industry, but customary units predominate in household use. At retail stores, the liter is a used unit for volume on bottles of beverages, milligrams, rather than grains, are used for medications; some other standard non-SI units are still in international use, such as nautical miles and knots in aviation and shipping.
Metric systems of units have evolved since the adoption of the first well-defined system in France in 1795. During this evolution the use of these systems has spread throughout the world, first to non-English-speaking countries, to English speaking countries. Multiples and submultiples of metric units are related by powers of ten and their names are formed with prefixes; this relationship is compatible with the decimal system of numbers and it contributes to the convenience of metric units. In the early metric system there were the metre for length and the gram for mass; the other units of length and mass, all units of area and derived units such as density were derived from these two base units. Mesures usuelles were a system of measurement introduced as a compromise between the metric system and traditional measurements, it was used in France from 1812 to 1839. A number of variations on the metric system have been in use; these include gravitational systems, the centimetre–gram–second systems useful in science, the metre–tonne–second system once used in the USSR and the metre–kilogram–second system.
The current international standard metric system is the International System of Units It is an mks system based on the metre and second as well as the kelvin, ampere and mole. The SI includes two classes of units which are agreed internationally; the first of these classes includes the seven SI base units for length, time, electric current, luminous intensity and amount of substance. The second class consists of the SI derived units; these derived. All other quantities are expressed in terms of SI derived units. Both imperial units and US customary units derive from earlier English units. Imperial units were used in the former British Empire and
Orders of magnitude (length)
The following are examples of orders of magnitude for different lengths. To help compare different orders of magnitude, the following list describes various lengths between 1.6 × 10 − 35 metres and 10 10 10 122 metres. To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths shorter than 10−23 m. 1.6 × 10−11 yoctometres – the Planck length. 1 ym – 1 yoctometre, the smallest named subdivision of the metre in the SI base unit of length, one septillionth of a metre 1 ym – length of a neutrino. 2 ym – the effective cross-section radius of 1 MeV neutrinos as measured by Clyde Cowan and Frederick Reines To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−23 metres and 10−22 metres. To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−22 m and 10−21 m. 100 ym – length of a top quark, one of the smallest known quarks To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−21 m and 10−20 m. 2 zm – length of a preon, hypothetical particles proposed as subcomponents of quarks and leptons.
2 zm – radius of effective cross section for a 20 GeV neutrino scattering off a nucleon 7 zm – radius of effective cross section for a 250 GeV neutrino scattering off a nucleon To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−20 m and 10−19 m. 15 zm – length of a high energy neutrino 30 zm – length of a bottom quark To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−19 m and 10−18 m. 177 zm – de Broglie wavelength of protons at the Large Hadron Collider To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−18 m and 10−17 m. 1 am – sensitivity of the LIGO detector for gravitational waves 1 am – upper limit for the size of quarks and electrons 1 am – upper bound of the typical size range for "fundamental strings" 1 am – length of an electron 1 am – length of an up quark 1 am – length of a down quark To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−17 m and 10−16 m. 10 am – range of the weak force To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−16 m and 10−15 m. 100 am – all lengths shorter than this distance are not confirmed in terms of size 850 am – approximate proton radius The femtometre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to 10−15 metres.
In particle physics, this unit is more called a fermi with abbreviation "fm". To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−15 metres and 10−14 metres. 1 fm – length of a neutron 1.5 fm – diameter of the scattering cross section of an 11 MeV proton with a target proton 1.75 fm – the effective charge diameter of a proton 2.81794 fm – classical electron radius 7 fm – the radius of the effective scattering cross section for a gold nucleus scattering a 6 MeV alpha particle over 140 degrees To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−14 m and 10−13 m. 1.75 to 15 fm – Diameter range of the atomic nucleus To help compare different orders of magnitude, this section lists lengths between 10−13 m and 10−12 m. 570 fm – typical distance from the atomic nucleus of the two innermost electrons in the uranium atom, the heaviest naturally-occurring atom To help compare different orders of magnitude this section lists lengths between 10−12 and 10−11 m. 1 pm – distance between atomic nuclei in a white dwarf 2.4 pm – The Compton wavelength of the electron 5 pm – shorter X-ray wavelengths To help compare different orders of magnitude this section lists lengths between 10−11 and 10−10 m. 25 pm – approximate radius of a helium atom, the smallest neutral atom 50 pm – radius of a hydrogen atom 50 pm – bohr radius: approximate radius of a hydrogen atom ~50 pm – best resolution of a high-resolution transmission electron microscope 60 pm – radius of a carbon atom 93 pm – length of a diatomic carbon molecule To help compare different orders of magnitude this section lists lengths between 10−10 and 10−9 m. 100 pm – 1 ångström 100 pm – covalent radius of sulfur atom 120 pm – van der Waals radius of a neutral hydrogen atom 120 pm – radius of a gold atom 126 pm – covalent radius of ruthenium atom 135 pm – covalent radius of technetium atom 150 pm – Length of a typical covalent bond 153 pm – covalent radius of silver atom 155 pm – covalent radius of zirconium atom 175 pm – covalent radius of thulium atom 200 pm – highest resolution of a typical electron microscope 225 pm – covalent radius of caesium atom 280 pm – Average size of the water molecule 298 pm – radius of a caesium atom, calculated to be the largest atomic radius 340 pm – thickness of single layer graphene 356.68 pm – width of diamond unit cell 403 pm – width of lithium fluoride unit cell 500 pm – Width of protein α helix 543 pm – silicon lattice spacing 560 pm – width of sodium chloride unit cell 700 pm – width of glucose molecule 780 pm – mean width of quartz unit cell 820 pm – mean width of ice unit cell 900 pm – mean width of coesite unit cell To help compare different orders
International System of Units
The International System of Units is the modern form of the metric system, is the most used system of measurement. It comprises a coherent system of units of measurement built on seven base units, which are the ampere, second, kilogram, mole, a set of twenty prefixes to the unit names and unit symbols that may be used when specifying multiples and fractions of the units; the system specifies names for 22 derived units, such as lumen and watt, for other common physical quantities. The base units are derived from invariant constants of nature, such as the speed of light in vacuum and the triple point of water, which can be observed and measured with great accuracy, one physical artefact; the artefact is the international prototype kilogram, certified in 1889, consisting of a cylinder of platinum-iridium, which nominally has the same mass as one litre of water at the freezing point. Its stability has been a matter of significant concern, culminating in a revision of the definition of the base units in terms of constants of nature, scheduled to be put into effect on 20 May 2019.
Derived units may be defined in terms of other derived units. They are adopted to facilitate measurement of diverse quantities; the SI is intended to be an evolving system. The most recent derived unit, the katal, was defined in 1999; the reliability of the SI depends not only on the precise measurement of standards for the base units in terms of various physical constants of nature, but on precise definition of those constants. The set of underlying constants is modified as more stable constants are found, or may be more measured. For example, in 1983 the metre was redefined as the distance that light propagates in vacuum in a given fraction of a second, thus making the value of the speed of light in terms of the defined units exact; the motivation for the development of the SI was the diversity of units that had sprung up within the centimetre–gram–second systems and the lack of coordination between the various disciplines that used them. The General Conference on Weights and Measures, established by the Metre Convention of 1875, brought together many international organisations to establish the definitions and standards of a new system and standardise the rules for writing and presenting measurements.
The system was published in 1960 as a result of an initiative that began in 1948. It is based on the metre–kilogram–second system of units rather than any variant of the CGS. Since the SI has been adopted by all countries except the United States and Myanmar; the International System of Units consists of a set of base units, derived units, a set of decimal-based multipliers that are used as prefixes. The units, excluding prefixed units, form a coherent system of units, based on a system of quantities in such a way that the equations between the numerical values expressed in coherent units have the same form, including numerical factors, as the corresponding equations between the quantities. For example, 1 N = 1 kg × 1 m/s2 says that one newton is the force required to accelerate a mass of one kilogram at one metre per second squared, as related through the principle of coherence to the equation relating the corresponding quantities: F = m × a. Derived units apply to derived quantities, which may by definition be expressed in terms of base quantities, thus are not independent.
Other useful derived quantities can be specified in terms of the SI base and derived units that have no named units in the SI system, such as acceleration, defined in SI units as m/s2. The SI base units are the building blocks of the system and all the other units are derived from them; when Maxwell first introduced the concept of a coherent system, he identified three quantities that could be used as base units: mass and time. Giorgi identified the need for an electrical base unit, for which the unit of electric current was chosen for SI. Another three base units were added later; the early metric systems defined a unit of weight as a base unit, while the SI defines an analogous unit of mass. In everyday use, these are interchangeable, but in scientific contexts the difference matters. Mass the inertial mass, represents a quantity of matter, it relates the acceleration of a body to the applied force via Newton's law, F = m × a: force equals mass times acceleration. A force of 1 N applied to a mass of 1 kg will accelerate it at 1 m/s2.
This is true whether the object is floating in space or in a gravity field e.g. at the Earth's surface. Weight is the force exerted on a body by a gravitational field, hence its weight depends on the strength of the gravitational field. Weight of a 1 kg mass at the Earth's surface is m × g. Since the acceleration due to gravity is local and varies by location and altitude on the Earth, weight is unsuitable for precision