The Meter Redefined
On October 21, 1983, the General Conference on Weights and Measures redefined
the meter, making it the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of
a second. Since the 17th century, many ways of measuring a meter have been
proposed throughout the world. After the French Revolution, there was a push to
institute new measurements to replace the ones associated with the ancien
régime. Along with changes to weights and money, the meter was introduced in
France to much consternation from French citizens. Throughout its life, the
meter has been defined based on gravity, meridians, metal bars, and wavelengths
of radiation from Krypton 86. The definition established by the 17th General
Conference on Weights and Measures is still the definition of a meter used
throughout the world today.
Items in Our Collection:
Metric System by Judson C Welliver; University of Virginia. Library.
Electronic Text Center.
international (SI) metric system and how it works by Robert A Hopkins
for use of the International System of Units (SI) : the modern metric system
by American Society for Testing and Materials.; Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers.; American National Standards Institute.