Metrology and Physical Constants

The reliability and accuracy of systems of measurement continue to advance. We are about to enter a period of the most stable measurement system we can imagine with the anticipated new definitions of the SI units of measurement; a direct link between fundamental physics and metrology which will eliminate the current definition of the kilogram, until now based upon an artifact. This book presents selected papers from Course 185 of the Enrico Fermi International School of Physics, held in Varenna, Italy, in July 2012 and jointly organized with the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). The papers delivered at the school covered some of the most advanced topics in the discipline of metrology, including nano-technologies; quantum information and quantum devices; biology and medicine; food; surface quality; ionising radiation for health, environment, art and archaeology; and climate. The continuous and striking advances in basic research concerning atomic frequency standards operating both in the visible range and at microwave levels and the applications to satellite systems are also considered, in the framework of a historical review of the international organization of metrology, as are the problems inherent in uncertainty statements and definitions. This book will be of interest to all those whose work involves scientific measurement at the highest levels of accuracy.