Isotopic effects in the neon fixed point: uncertainty of the calibration data correction

Authors: Peter P M Steur, Franco Pavese, Bernd Fellmuth, Yves Hermier, Kenneth D Hill, Jin Seog Kim, Leszek Lipinski, Keisuke Nagao, Tohru Nakano, Andrea Peruzzi, Fernando Sparasci, Anna Szmyrka-Grzebyk, Osamu Tamura, Weston L Tew, Staf Valkiers and Jan van Geel, Metrologia 52 (2015) 104-110.

Abstract:
The neon triple point is one of the defining fixed points of the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90). Although recognizing that natural neon is a mixture of isotopes, the ITS-90 definition only states that the neon should be of 'natural isotopic composition', without any further requirements. A preliminary study in 2005 indicated that most of the observed variability in the realized neon triple point temperatures within a range of about 0.5 mK can be attributed to the variability in isotopic composition among different samples of 'natural' neon. Based on the results of an International Project (EUROMET Project No. 770), the Consultative Committee for Thermometry decided to improve the realization of the neon fixed point by assigning the ITS-90 temperature value 24.5561 K to neon with the isotopic composition recommended by IUPAC, accompanied by a quadratic equation to take the deviations from the reference composition into account. In this paper, the uncertainties of the equation are discussed and an uncertainty budget is presented. The resulting standard uncertainty due to the isotopic effect (k = 1) after correction of the calibration data is reduced to (4 to 40) μK when using neon of 'natural' isotopic composition or to 30 μK when using 20Ne. For comparison, an uncertainty component of 0.15 mK should be included in the uncertainty budget for the neon triple point if the isotopic composition is unknown, i.e. whenever the correction cannot be applied.

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