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Nobel talk on meters, kilograms and quantum mechanics

Klaus von Klitzing, Physics Nobel prize winner in 1985, will give a talk on fundamental units at the Panum Institute on Wednesday

How long is one meter? And how can we be sure about that? On Wednesday 10, at 4pm, the Physics Nobel laureate Klaus von Klitzing will address these and other fundamental questions in a public talk at the Panum Institute.

The event is organized by the Danish Royal Academy. Entrance is free with registration required. Read the lecture announcement here.

Prof. von Klitzing won the Nobel Prize in 1985 for his discovery of the quantum Hall effect. He found out that in systems where electrons can freely move in two dimensions only, electrical resistance is forced to assume discrete values.

Kilograms and quantum mechanics

For a conductive material, resistance is the opposition its particles exert against the passage of an electric current.

“I discovered the quantum Hall effect in February 1980 at 2 AM, when I discovered an unexpected new type of electrical resistance,” says Prof. von Klitzing to the University Post.

“Resistance is a multiple of the von Klitzing constant, which depends exclusively on fundamental constants,” he continues. The quantum Hall effect could lead to a new definition of what a kilogram is.