In my opinion, scientific measurements should be represented via unmovable, logical, and absolutely atomic units that would be the same at all locations in the universe (at least given our current understanding of the universe).
I think its absolutely ludicrous that the most advanced scientific experiments and quantum theory today have data sets that are represented by a system of measurement forged and “standardized” in 19th century Imperialistic Europe.
Here are the fundamental (mutually independent) units of measurement based on these standards:
For example, that the second was originally defined as “the 1/86400th of the mean solar day” to me is absurd. A “mean solar day” was left up to astronomical theories at the time that definition was constructed.
Why is this absurd? Because its based on the rotational speed of the Earth. I have two problems with this:
1. The rotational speed of the Earth is irregular and not a “fixed constant” upon which to formulate a standard. And the biggest reason for my problem:
2. Its based on the Earth.
Let me address number 1 first:
The SI body recognized this irregularity and did something about it. They formalized in 1960 that the second is no longer defined based on the rotational speed of the Earth. The instead defined it as:
“The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom.”
Huh? Why the heck did they choose that?
The reason is that they needed a stable and scientifically repeatable (under all circumstances) method to derive a unit of time. Cesium 133 is well known to have the required regularity, so it was chosen as the basis. 9,192,631,770 periods most accurately reflected our perception of the old measurement. So its repeatable, but still related to the old definition.
So, at least they addressed complaint point #1. But they completely ignored my complaint point #2, that is, the measurement, even in the ‘fixed’ 1960 representation, is based on a property of the Earth.
Why should the second or any unit for that matter be based on the Earth? Why not the Sun? Even that is not good enough for me. The meter and kilogram are in essence derived from archaic methods as well, and are in my opinion, equally flawed.
These types of views reflect a self-centered, outdated view of our understanding of the universe. Why on earth (pun intended) would anyone base the most fundamental explainations of our universe and all things it contains on our one lonely planet? Arrogance? A lack of understanding? Maybe our forefather’s ignorance to the possbilities of scientific discovery in the future? Why are we still bound to this primitive, earth-centric system of units? Why don’t we use something that represents data in the purest form that we are capable of doing so?
I am proposing such a system.
My system is based on light (photons), the electron, and the hydrogen atom. These are universal in every sense of the word, purely atomic, and invariant. If the original SI units can be expressed in terms of light and electrons, we would have a “pure” system, applicable to all planets and solar systems, not just ours. If we want to represent multitudes of these units to be closer to units that we can mentally grasp, then fine, I have no problem with this. My problem is that data, at its most fundamental level, should be represented by pure constants that bear no reflection of our perception of our world, but on actual physical constants of the universe (barring the philosophical debate of our perceptions of things such as electrons and photons).
My system doesn’t even have names yet, just concepts. Perhaps folks reading this entry could help me come up with appropriate names for each fundamental property.
Here’s the above table, revised for my system, and its proposed measurement:
|???||?||length||The diameter of a “free standing” electron.|
|???||?||mass||The mass of a “free standing” electron.|
|???||?||time||The period in which the electron of a hydrogen atom completes one “orbit” around the atom’s proton.|
|???||?||luminous intensity||? – something related to the energy of a single photon ?|