Dr. Richard Brown of the UK’s National Physical Laboratory recommended new prefixes, which were motivated by the demands of the tech sector. As a result, the new weight of Earth has been revealed.
On Friday, scientists decided to expand the SI system of units, making the ronna- and quetta- prefixes the biggest ones. The Earth now has an approximate weight of six ronnagrams as a result of the additions.
The 27th General Conference on Weights and Measures, which convenes in Versailles Palace in France every four years to decide latest additions to the International System of Units (SI), accepted the measurements.
Now, much as a kilogram denotes 1,000 grams, a ronnagram and a quettagram each stand for one gram followed by 27 and 30 zeros, respectively. The prefixes can be used with any of the SI system’s base units. For instance, a quettavolt is one volt of electric potential to the power of 30, and a ronnameter is one meter to the power of 27.
Dr. Richard Brown of the UK’s National Physical Laboratory recommended the new prefixes, which were motivated by the demands of the tech sector, which is already employing the previous highest prefixes for data storage (yottabytes and zettabytes).
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“In terms of expressing data in yottabytes, which is the highest prefix currently, we’re very close to the limit,” Brown told AFP. He went on to say that the amenities will “future proof the system” for the coming 20 to 25 years. At that time, the SI system will confront a new issue, given that there are no more letters in the alphabet that are not currently in use for other units.
Extremely huge objects are now easier to describe thanks to the new units. “If we think about mass, instead of distance, the Earth weighs approximately six ronnagrams,” Brown said. “Jupiter, that’s about two quettagrams.”
Two more prefixes to describe the tiniest objects in the cosmos were approved by the conference. One unit to the power of minus 27 is referred to as a “ronto,” while one unit to the power of minus 30 is referred to as a “quecto.” As a result, one quectogram is equivalent to 0.000000000 000000000000000000001 grams.
Such minuscule measurements are “useful for quantum science, particle physics – when you’re measuring really, really small things,” according to Brown.