2005 REPORT TO INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PURE & APPLIED PHYSICS (IUPAP) BY ITS REPRESENTATIVE ON Interdivisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols (ICTNS)
IUPAP and the ICTNS
In questions of terminology, nomenclature and symbols and the work of the ICTNS, it is the IUPAP Commission C2 SUNAMCO which acts as a link with pure and applied physicists in IUPAP and elsewhere.
The IUPAP Commission C2: Symbols, Units, Nomenclature, Atomic Masses & Fundamental Constants (SUNAMCO) [http://www.iupap.org/commissions/c2/mandate.html] has namely amongst its mandates to promote the exchange of information and views among the members of the international scientific community in the general field of Fundamental Constants including:
(a) physical measurements
(b) pure and applied metrology
(c) nomenclature and symbols for physical quantities and units;
(d) encouragement of work contributing towards improved recommended values of atomic masses and fundamental physical constants and facilitation of their adoption.
ICTNS SUNAMCO Report to IUPAP
In reporting ICTNS activities to IUPAP, the following items are of particular interest to SUNAMCO:
Update on status of ‘color’ books
The IUPAP ‘Red’ book SUNAMCO 87-1 “Symbols, Units, Nomenclature and Fundamental Constants in Physics, is by all accounts still popular 18 years after publication of the latest edition. A revision, perhaps with an electronic publication, is needed however. A number of other organisations such as IUPAC are also quite active in producing a number of guidance documents and books, such as the latter’s ‘green ‘ and ‘orange’ books. Some of these, for instance the ‘orange’ book “Compendium on Analytical Nomenclature” have certain sections which directly overlap the contents of the IUPAP ‘Red’ book, such as accounts of the SI and tables of values of the fundamental constants and are already published on the Internet. It is natural therefore that some amount of coordination would be in order is SUNAMCO is to go ahead with a new edition of the red book. SUNAMCO has already suggested and has had a positive response from IUPAC (both ICTNS and the Analytical Chemistry Division). SUNAMCO members expressed the wish to publish a revised red book, identifying clearly the physics part as distinct from chemistry and other engineering disciplines. While electronic versions are desirable, it was felt there was still a need for paper versions and for translations.
Redefinition of the kilogram and Proposal concerning the dalton
The SUNAMCO Committee has debated the questions raised by the ICTNS (and corresponding discussions in the CCU, for instance) since the New Year 2005, particularly concerning units of mass and amount of substance. IUPAP has formulated its own recommendation about the possible redefinition of the kilogram. The IUPAP draft recommendation was presented amongst others at the June 2005 meeting of the CCU. Individual SUNAMCO members have also participated in related discussions of this issue in a number of fora, including within the Metre Convention, for instance, the Consultative Committees for Mass (CCM) for Electricity & Magnetism (CCEM) as well as CODATA.
In earlier discussions about the dalton at the last ICTNS meeting, the IUPAP SUNAMCO Chairman (Dr Sharma) had noted that an earlier recommendation in this field, concerning the adoption (10th General Assembly of the I.U.P.A.P. in 1960) of the exact number 12 as the relative nuclidic mass of the carbon isotope of mass number 12, had been made jointly with IUPAC, and it would perhaps be fitting to co-ordinate similarly the current proposal about the dalton.
Other SUNAMCO activities relevant to ICTNS
A number of contacts between IUPAC and IUPAP SUNAMCO have occurred during the period of this report. Amongst others, SUNAMCO was kindly invited by IUPAC Analytical Chemistry Division to its meeting (040217, IAEA, Vienna) to discuss increased collaboration. Items discussed included:
Dr Leslie R Pendrill
IUPAP C2 SUNAMCO Secretary
SP Swedish National Testing & Research Institute, Measurement Technology
Box 857, S-501 15 BORÅS, Sweden, Tel: +46 (0)33 165444, Fax: +46 (0)33 165620
 http://www.iupac.org/divisions/V/news/040217/index.html; Pendrill L R 2005 "Meeting future needs for Metrological Traceability – A physicist’s view", Accred. Qual. Assur., 10, no 3, 133 - 9