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EMPIR project provides guidance for redefinition of the kelvin

Photo courtesy of project website InK2

Project consortium is part of the once in a lifetime endeavour to fundamentally change the principles and practice of thermometry

The global measurement system, grounded in the SI, is the essential foundation for reliable measurement. Such a measurement system, transnational and truly global, is absolutely necessary for trade, manufacturing, sustaining and improving quality of life.

Later this year the kelvin, the base unit of temperature in the SI (International System of Units), will be redefined in terms of the Boltzmann constant. This is part of the worldwide effort to make a coherent and complete system of units fit for the 21st Century and beyond. As far as the kelvin is concerned to guarantee a successful transition, and especially to facilitate effective use of the MeP-K-19, the redefinition must be founded on robust primary thermometry methods and results.

The EMPIR joint research project ‘Implementing the new kelvin 2’ (15SIB02) has made very significant contributions to the mise en pratique for the definition of the kelvin, and its annexes. In particular thermodynamic measurement techniques from the project having been approved for incorporation into the document and results incorporated into its annexes with more to follow in 2019.

A mise en pratique for the definition of a unit is a documented set of instructions that allows the definition to be realised in practice at the highest level.

The three year EMPIR InK2 project, which started in 2016, will develop new methods and data sets that will complete the gaps in knowledge needed to achieve an effective redefinition of the kelvin.

The project coordinator says: I am honoured to be entrusted by the international thermometry community to lead the InK projects at such a critical point in the development of the SI. These projects will put the redefinition of the SI unit the kelvin on a firm foundation and, through the MeP-K-19, foster the realization and dissemination of primary thermometry into the 2020s and beyond.

The ‘Implementing the new kelvin 2’ project is part of EURAMET’s European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR).This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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