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Technical Symposium | The Standardisation of Electrical Measurement Units

This follows the unveiling of an IEEE History Milestone Plaque, which recognises the work done to standardise the resistance unit (Ohm)

This technical symposium is about work done to standardise the units used for electrical measurement at a time when there were many different and incompatible standards and systems of units – not only was there a proliferation of units (cgs, esu, emu, etc. in rationalised and non-rationalised form), but the units were not based on well defined standard measurements and so differed from place to place and country to country. There was an urgent need to reach agreement on an international basis to assist in the progress of science, technology and trade. Significant work on this was done in Scotland.


  • Dr Don Wright, Past President IEEE Standards Association and from Standards Strategies, Louisville, Kentucky “International Standards”
  • Prof Peter Grant, Emeritus Regius Professor of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, “Early resistance standards”
  • Prof Jan-Theodoor Janssen, Research Director, National Physical Laboratory, UK, “Evolution of the measurement of the Ohm over the last century”

The following two days, there will be an IEEE conference in Glasgow at Strathclyde University on History of Technology topics; details at https://www.histelcon2019.org

Technical Symposium Registration

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