A New Measure: the Revolutionary Quantum Reform of the Metric System

Dr. William Phillips, National Institute of Standards and Technology & University of Maryland

Tuesday, May 18, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Pacific Time)

The Frontiers of Physics Lecture Series brings renowned scientists to the UW to offer free lectures on exciting advances in physics with the goal of fostering an appreciation of science and technology in our community. This May 18th, we are thrilled to welcome 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics Dr. William D. Philips who will talk about the quantum reform of the International System of Units (the SI, or Metric system).

Scientists must rely on a system of units to provide a quantitative description of our universe. The SI starts with seven base units from which all measurable properties of objects and phenomena can be expressed. The universal and international character of science strives for the standards that define the units—necessary for the effective scientific communication that underpins the longstanding and continued success of science—to be unambiguous, precise, constant and accessible to everyone. 

On May 20, 2019, the international metrology community adopted revolutionary changes to the SI wherein all of the base units of measure are defined by fixing the values of constants of nature. The SI is now firmly based on quantum methods of measurement. Dr. Phillips will explain why we needed such reform and how we achieved it.

Registration Closes: May 17, 2021 6:00 PM PT