Quantum Leap: Transitioning to the New SI through Quantum-Based Measurements

March 21, 2018 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

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Gregory F. Strouse

The SI redefinition is fast approaching, and on 20 May 2019 the metrology community will be faced with a new paradigm in which the units are defined in terms of quantum phenomena and fundamental constants of nature. This is the last step in a long journey away from artifact-based traceability. The base units of temperature (kelvin), mass (kilogram), electrical (ampere), and amount of substance (mole) will join the other base units to finally make the dream come true of tying metrology back to fundamental physics. On the surface it sounds like an academic change, but it will have profound practical consequences. With the quantum SI, the metrology community can trace measurements to nature rather than depending on an national metrology institute like NIST warehousing artifacts, but this requires that we think about measurements in a new way, relying more on physics and less on process. The impact of the new SI definition will be discussed as well as how to prepare for transition to the new SI through quantum-based methods. The quantum SI methods and devices that are available now as well as a look at the future of the quantum SI will be discussed. Quantum-based technologies will allow better measurements to occur and give us the ability to place NIST-level measurement capabilities in advanced-manufacturing industries. By creating a ubiquitous quantum SI environment, this will enable NIST to focus on new metrology frontiers, commercialization and solve challenging science problems while still maintain measurement expertise to support the metrology community. Additionally, a discussion of what this new quantum-based measurement methodology means to traceability, mutual recognition, and accreditation will be explored.