Accreditation and Quality Assurance

, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 421–427 | Cite as

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

  • Gary PriceEmail author
Discussion Forum


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.


Treaty of the metre Mole Amount of substance Metrology 



I thank the editors and referees for their dialogue as well as their patience. The still fallible discussion before you is very much the better for their engagement but all errors remain my responsibility. I join the editors in cordially inviting further discussion.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MenaiAustralia

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