Hey, hey, ho, ho—the kilogramme has got to go!

It has always annoyed me that the kilogramme, one of the fundamental units of the Système International d'unités, is a prefixed unit. This completely breaks the logic of the system and I'm sure is one of the reasons that many people believe “kilo” is the name of the mass unit. (Not that they can tell the difference between mass and force either, sigh.)

Anyway, to my joy I find in the latest issue of SEK-Aktuellt that others have been equally annoyed by this and there is work underway in the Comité consultatif des unités to replace the kilogramme with another unit, which in addition would together with most other SI-units be based on a fundamental property of nature (Planck's constant in this case), rather than some arbitrary object (the kilogramme prototype in Paris). A proposed name for this new unit is not leaked in Anders J Thor's short article and I haven't been able to come up with anything witty myself, but I hope it will be some short and memorable.

Down with the kilogramme!

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