Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy "World Metrology Day"!

(thanks to Rachel for clueing me in!)

Today is World Metrology Day!

How do you measure something... anything?
If you were to measure it again, would you get the same answer?
If someone else were to measure it, would they get the same answer?
Is the yardstick in your kitchen calibrated the same as the yardstick in your garage?
Does your bathroom scale weigh you the same as your mom's? Which is right?
What does "right" mean???

The World Metrology Day poster 2010 shows a photo of the Great Belt east bridge (Storebæltsbroen), Denmark.
Each of the east bridge’s 55 prefabricated 48-metre, 500-ton bridge sections were measured in detail in order to adjust the four hangers which carry the section, to ensure the correct tension.
The measured, and expected, deviations from the theoretical measurements required a hanger adjustment of ± 30 mm.
The adjustment of each hanger pin was determined to an accuracy of ± 1 mm.
A wide network of contractors and subcontractors from 10 European countries were involved in building the bridge 1988 - 1997.
Reliable and verified measurements were essential in this huge and complex collaboration.

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