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Photographer Florian Thoss was lying on the couch watching TV a couple years ago when he saw a story about Germany's national metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt. The research center in Braunschweig is devoted to the science of measurement, something Thoss didn't even know existed. It sparked his curiosity. "I couldn't imagine what such a place looks like," he says.
He decided to find out. For Rooms of Science, Floss explored the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, or PTB, documenting the odd scientific instruments that service a most punctilious cause. "Humanity needs order and structure, and this is the literal place where it is created," Thoss says.
Metrology - Functioning - Everything - Measurements - Manufacturing
Metrology might sound boring, but it is crucial to the functioning of, well, everything. Being able to take exact measurements makes manufacturing and trade feasible, along with landing airplanes, diagnosing diseases and pumping gas. That wasn't always possible; for most human history, measurements varied place to place. Then, in 1795, the young French republic adopted the first decimal metric system, laying the seeds for the modern metric system—the International System of Units—with its meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, candela, and mole.
These are the units that scientists at the PTB obsess over. Founded in 1887, it is Europe's largest metrology institute, with some 1,900 people...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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