, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 421-427
Date: 31 Mar 2010

Failures of the global measurement system. Part 1: the case of chemistry

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Abstract

This discussion puts a case of advocatus diaboli: that the Treaty of the Metre, its associated administrative apparatus and the International System of measurement units (SI) has basically failed for chemical measurement and is largely irrelevant to modern analysis, much of practical measurement in modern economies and much of recent technology. The practical use of the chemical unit termed the mole, the introduction to the SI units of the thermodynamic mole and the invention of a new physical quantity called “amount of substance” are each reviewed with the conclusion that the current means of expressing the results of chemical measurements are unsatisfactory in both practice and theory and are imposing large and readily avoidable costs on all advanced economies.

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