Accreditation and Quality Assurance

, Volume 11, Issue 1–2, pp 1–2 | Cite as

Counting is measuring

Learning from the banks?
  • P. De Bièvre

All over the world, banks close late afternoon and count huge amounts of money. They are measuring the number of specified entities (currency units) after having moved large amounts of it during the day at the request of their customers. Now they need to know how many specified entities are still there, how many are gone (and where they went), or how many have arrived (and where they did come from).

All over the world, measurement laboratories are measuring a number of specified entities also, they need to know how many of the specified entities are there, or they have to determine by measurement how many have come from somewhere else.

Both are ‘counting’, the banks very ‘accurately’ because every single unit of currency is ‘valuable’. It is a token assumption that of the order of €100,000×109 i.e. 1014 (€)—an amount-of-substance of currency of about 160 pmol—move on the worldwide scene in any given day, yet it is measured with very small relative measurement uncertainty.

Admittedly, a...

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duineneind 9KasterleeBelgium

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