Concept

International Prototype of the Kilogram

Résumé
The International Prototype of the Kilogram (referred to by metrologists as the IPK or Le Grand K; sometimes called the ur-kilogram, or urkilogram, particularly by German-language authors writing in English:30) is an object whose mass was used to define the kilogram from 1889, when it replaced the Kilogramme des Archives, until 2019, when it was replaced by a new definition of the kilogram based entirely on physical constants. During that time, the IPK and its duplicates were used to calibrate all other kilogram mass standards on Earth. The IPK is a roughly golfball-sized object made of a platinum alloy known as "Pt10Ir", which is 90% platinum and 10% iridium (by mass) and is machined into a right-circular cylinder with height equal to its diameter of about 39 millimetres to reduce its surface area. The addition of 10% iridium impro
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