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Chemistry International

The News Magazine of IUPAC

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Volume 36, Issue 5


A critical review of the proposed definitions of fundamental chemical quantities and their impact on chemical communities

Published Online: 2014-09-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2014-0517

The objective of this project is to provide a Technical Report containing a critical review of the definitions for the quantity amount of substance and its unit, mole, as well as the related unit of the quantity mass.

The work will consist of the compilation of existing published work related to the definition of the quantity amount of substance, its unit, and the consequence of these definitions on the unit of the quantity mass. The compilation will be reviewed critically with the aim of assembling all possible elements in order to judge the adequateness of the existing definitions or new proposals. Compilation and critical review shall rely on the broadest spectrum of interested IUPAC members. Therefore, all divisions will be invited to participate in the project, as well as the Interdivisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols (ICTNS) and Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE). All task group members will have a mandate to speak on behalf of their corresponding communities. External experts will be consulted.

The task group is scheduled for discussions in the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance, or Comité consultatif pour la quantité de matière (CCQM) and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) on the new definition of the mole. A time horizon of 2015 for establishing a firm position of IUPAC with regard to this question is adequate for further decisions to be taken by CCQM, the International Committee for Weights and Measures or Comité international des poids et mesures (CIPM), and the General Conference on Weights and Measures (Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, CGPM).

In June 2014, the task group initiated a survey to collect opinions and comments by the IUPAC National Adhering Organizations (NAOs). The questionnaire focuses on the current definition of the mole, the new definition of the mole, the current definition of the quantity amount of substance, and the current name of the quantity amount of substance. NAOs are asked to reply no later than 1 October 2014. The questionnaire is available from the project webpage below.

For more information, contact the Task Group Chair Jürgen Stohner < > or email < >


About the article

Published Online: 2014-09-02

Published in Print: 2014-09-01

Citation Information: Chemistry International, Volume 36, Issue 5, Pages 17–17, ISSN (Online) 1365-2192, ISSN (Print) 0193-6484, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2014-0517.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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