Desde hoy el kilo dejará de pesar un kilo, ¿cómo va a impactar en la vida cotidiana?

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Junto con el cambio definición del kilogramo, la Conferencia General de Pesos y Medidas cambiará el amperio (unidad de intensidad de la corriente eléctrica), el kelvin (unidad de temperatura) y el mol (unidad de cantidad de materia).

Adiós al «gran K»: la Conferencia General de Pesos y Medidas instauró este viernes en Versalles, al oeste de París (Francia), un nuevo sistema de medida internacional, independiente de todo objeto físico.

«Hoy, en una decisión histórica, representantes de 60 países votaron a favor de una redefinición del Sistema Internacional de Unidades (SI), modificando así para siempre la definición mundial del kilogramo, el amperio, el kelvin y el mol», anunció en un comunicado la Oficina Internacional de Pesos y Medidas (BIPM, por sus siglas en francés).

Hasta ahora, un kilo estaba definido como el equivalente a la masa del «gran K», un cilindro de platino e iridio conservado con sumo cuidado desde 1889 en la BIMP en Sèvres, cerca de París. Pero los científicos se dieron cuenta de que la masa del prototipo internacional había variado ligeramente (unos 50 microgramos) respecto a la de las seis copias-testigo realizadas en la misma época.

Aunque esta variación pueda parecer anecdótica para el común de los mortales cuando se trata de hacer la compra, sí que puede ser problemática en un momento en que las ciencias y la industria entraron en la era de lo infinitamente pequeño, gracias sobre todo al desarrollo de las tecnologías cuánticas.

Así, el kilogramo pasará a estar definido a partir de la constante de Planck (h) de la física cuántica. Entre los otros cambios decididos se encuentra el kelvin, medido a partir del agua y que ahora se redefinirá a partir de la constante de Boltzmann (k), vinculada a la agitación térmica de los componentes fundamentales de un cuerpo.

La Conferencia General de Pesos y Medidas, creada a finales del siglo XIX, se reúne cada cuatro o seis años para debatir y, eventualmente, modificar el Sistema Internacional, uniformizando las unidades a escala mundial.

¿Cómo nos afectará?

Si estás preocupado porque tu kilo de papas o limones no volverá a pesar igual, te equivocas en parte. ¡Tranquilo! Ninguna medición es exacta. La variación que existe entre muchas es mínima. Y la variación que sufrirá el kilogramo es de 1×10-8. Sin emabrgo, esto afectará a mediciones científicas de alto rigor.

«En la vida cotidiana, cuando compremos por ejemplo un kilo de pan, no nos impactará porque esas mediciones tienen un error del 1% porque el cambio está en el microgramo. El cambio es imperceptible cuando se trata del uso cotidiano de la medida de kilo, pero sí afectará las mediciones de la ciencia y en la tecnología», explicó a Infobae Héctor Laiz, gerente de Metrología y Calidad del Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Industrial (INTI) y único representante sudamericano en el Comité Internacional de Pesas y Medidas.

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