Taste is a highly subjective thing. But when science gets involved, things have to be measured, and the measurements must be exact.
Here are 11 ways that food is precisely measured. Bitterness can be determined based on a specific scale, and the amount of sucrose in a solution can be easily calculated. Some others are a little more esoteric: stretching cheese to measure its texture; determining the color of a beer based on how much light passes through it; testing the strength of coffee.
This week, the origin and continued preservation of five of our favorite standard units of measure
By Sam Kean
Posted 11.03.2010 at 11:59 am 7 Comments
This week, Sam Kean takes a look at some ridiculously precise standards -- the meter, the second, and other international standard units -- and the role that elements have played in defining, redefining, and re-redefining them over the ages.
Most of the seven base metric units were pretty consistent from the beginning. Scientists agreed on what each unit meant and were confident that people in different countries meant the same thing. The big exception to this consistency was the candela—the unit for the luminosity of light.
Think of the most fussy science teacher you ever had. The one who docked your grade if the sixth decimal place in your answer was rounded incorrectly. Now imagine work that even that teacher would hate for being too anal-retentive. That’s the kind of work that goes into defining the meter, the second, and other international standard units of measure.
Here’s a look at some ridiculously precise standards and the role that elements have played in defining, redefining, and re-redefining them over the ages.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.