Add to Cart

Precise Dimensions

A history of units from 1791–2018
Malcolm Cooper, Jim Grozier


Units are the foundation for all measurement of the natural world, and from which standard, our understanding develops. This book, stemming from a conference on the history of units organised by the editors, provides a comprehensive and discursive introduction to the history of units within physics, in advance of the proposed redefinition of the SI base units at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in 2018.

Precise Dimensions: A history of units from 1791–2018 features contributions from leading researchers in metrology and history, and will be of particular interest to historians of science, as well as to scientists with an interest in the history of the units they work with.

About Editors

Malcolm Cooper has served as a member of the IOP History of Physics group for 30 years, and during that time, has served on the group's committee in several capacities for many years, including as chairman and secretary. Since 2004, he has served as Editor of the group's newsletter.

Jim Grozier is a retired physicist and engineer, now working as a lab demonstrator at University College London. His research interests include the philosophy of measurement in the physical sciences, and popular (mis)conceptions of special relativity. He is a member of the Committee of the History of Physics Group,  and has published frequently on the history of physics.

Table of Contents

1 The metre - DrJim Grozier (UCL) and Miss Sophie Osiecki (Cambridge)
2 From notion to precision: the SI second - Dr Rory McEvoy (National Maritime Museum)
3 Lord Rayleigh's determination of the ohm - Prof. Edward A Davis (Cambridge)
4 Temperature scales: past, present and future: 1700~2050 - Prof. Graham Machin (NPL)
5 Kelvin's Absolute Temperature and Its Measurement - Prof. Hasok Chang (Cambridge)
6 A brief history of the unit of chemical amount - Dr. Juris Meija (National Research Council, Canada)
7 History of the Candela - Dr Teresa Goodman (NPL)
8 The Story of Mass Standards 1791-2018 - Dr Jim Grozier (UCL), Sally Riordan, Dr. Richard Davis (International Bureau of Weights and Measures)
9 The Watt balance - Dr Bryan Kibble


Hardback ISBN: 9780750314855

Ebook ISBN: 9780750314879

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-1487-9

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


« Back