Matters of Scale
Last year it was announced that a team of engineers in Barcelona had devised a weighing scale capable of detecting a single proton, which weighs in at 1.7 yoctograms. A yoctogram, as I’m sure you’re aware, is equal to one septillionth of a gram. If that’s not helping, then perhaps the information that 100 yoctograms equals one tenth of a zeptogram will make it a little clearer.
No? Okay, one yoctogram = 0.000000000000000000000001g.
Naturally, this is not going to be your average set of scales – they didn’t place their proton carefully onto a platform or into a pan and read the result off a dial. The measurement is in fact made in a vibrating carbon nanotube, but if you want any further explanation, you’re going to have to look it up yourself, because I failed my physics O level and we’re a long, long way out of my comfort zone here.
Our customers generally don’t need to weigh anything with quite that level of precision, so we don’t keep vibrating carbon nanotubes in stock ready for same day dispatch and next working day delivery. They’re a special order.
What we do have is a range of pocket scales and bench scales that will register 0.1g. After what I’ve been talking about so far, that may sound like a lot, but you’ll get a reading from a couple of lentils with that level of accuracy.
Scaling the heights
Literally at the other end of the scale, it is estimated that the Earth weighs in the region of a septillion kilos – that’s 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000kg, by the way. Again, this has obviously not been established through the use of a traditional set of scales, but is rather a calculation based on the gravitational attraction that our planet has for objects near it.
The heaviest we can record on one of our platform scales is a little short of that required to weigh a planet, but is still pretty impressive at 3000kg. To put that into context, you could comfortably weigh the average hippo with that, as long as it was in a co-operative mood, as well as most female elephants (although particularly ‘large-boned’ lady elephants may prove too much for them).
Naturally, between the extremes of lentils and hippos, there are a lot of other things that need weighing, and as one of the country’s leading packaging suppliers, Davpack can provide the means to weigh most of them. For more information, why not give our friendly Sales team a call on 0844 800 9844 and let them help you find the right one for you?
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