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Linking SI base units to fundamental and atomic constants
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Summary
SI base units
SI derived units
SI prefixes
SI brochure (8th edition - 2006, updated in 2014)
On the possible future revision of the SI
Workshop on Physiological Quantities and SI Units
Brief history of the SI
Linking SI base units to fundamental and atomic constants
Unit conversions
On the possible future revision of the SI
Related articles
Key to symbols
CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Constants
Direct access

The figure below represents some of the links between the base units of the SI (shown in red circles) and the fundamental physical and atomic constants (shown in green boxes). It is intended to show that the base units of the SI are linked to measurable quantities through the unchanging and universal constants of physics.

In the figure,
the surrounding boxes, lines and uncertainties represent measurable quantities. The numbers marked next to the base units are estimates of the standard uncertainties of their best practical realizations; those next to the fundamental constants represent the uncertainty of our knowledge of these constants (from the 2002 CODATA adjustment).
the grey boxes reflect the unknown long-term stability of the kilogram artefact and its consequent effects on the practical realization of the definitions of the ampere, mole and candela.

The definition of the ampere, for example, involves the kilogram, but an alternative link is the Josephson-effect constant (KJ-90) and von Klitzing's quantum-Hall resistance (RJ-90), both of which were given fixed, conventional values in 1990.



See also

  • Quinn T.J., "Base units of the Système international d'unités, their accuracy, dissemination and international traceability", Metrologia, 1995, 31, 515-527;


  • Kind D., Quinn T.J., "Metrology: Quo Vadis?", Physics Today, August 1998.


  • Related articles

    Key to symbols
    CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Constants