What is a meter?

Andrey Kim
Andrey Kim
January 25, 2015
What is a meter?

The meter is a unit of measurement of length, recorded in the International System of Units. The meter is one of the 7 basic units of measurement, which means that the meter is the standard for measuring length in all countries using the international system of units, C - and this is the vast majority of the states on our planet.

In this article we will describe in more detail what a meter is and what this length is equivalent to.

What is meter: definition

The meter is the path that light travels in vacuum in 1/299792458 seconds. This strict definition was assigned to the General Conference of Weights and Measures in 1983.

The definition of the meter, in fact, is tied to the second, while in the formula there is a generally accepted constant - the speed of light in a vacuum (299792458 m / s). Denoted meter lowercase letter m.

Who came up with the meter?

After the empire of Charlemagne collapsed, the European society for a long time remained without a single measure of length. Each city had the right to establish its own measures. It is important to know at the time that the measure of length was used in taxation, and therefore it is not difficult to imagine what a mess it was.

However, it was not until the 17th century that scientists began to raise questions about the need for a clear measure, which would be based on a common constant. In particular, the English philosopher John Wilkins proposed using the length of a pendulum with a half-period of oscillations of 1 s for measuring the length.

But it soon became known that such a length differs in different points of the globe, as a result of which the “formula” was adjusted, and the meter received such a definition - the length of a pendulum with a half-period of oscillations at a latitude of 45 ° equal to one second. In the future, this measure was refined many times until scientists came to the actual form today.

Standard meter

The standard meter was manufactured in 1889. It is made of an alloy of platinum and iridium (90/10). There are copies of the standard in each country in which the meter is considered the main measure of length.

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