Weights and measures

UPDATE: Now, there’s a coincidence, it’s just been announced that NPL has been officially deemed the birthplace of atomic timekeeping by the European Physical Society, EPS.

Sciencebase reader Clayton W from Canada was keen to find some obtain up-to-date and accurate physical and chemical constants that wasn’t just the US NIST page. He is currently tutoring some high school and higher chemistry and physics students, and wanted access to better resources than the data tables provided.

First acronyms that came to mind were NPL, ISO, SI, IUPAC and IUPAP

  • National Physical Laboratory, NPL
  • International Standards Organisation, ISO, or these days International Organization for Standardization*
  • Systeme Internationale, SI, Bureau International de Poids et Measures, BIPM
  • International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry, IUPAC, see also Gold Book.
  • International Union of Pure & Applied Physics, IUPAP


Then, there’s the Merck Index, now operated by my alma mater Royal Society of Chemistry, which was always a useful resource for finding named reactions (Dies-Alder, Heck etc etc) and common abbreviations, chemical structures, constants and conversions. I have a Tenth Edition print copy of the Merck Index from 1983 on my desk, which originally belonged to former RSC editor extraordinaire, the late Eddie Smith and was handed on at some point in the distant past. There’s also the so-called Rubber Handbook, which isn’t what you might think, rather it’s the century-old CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

*Wouldn’t that be iOS?

Author: bob投注平台

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.