(synonym *Planck-Wheeler units*, after John Archibald Wheeler who developed the precise system described here, inspired by a similar system by Max Planck)

What units to use when measuring things is always a subject of heated debate. In the United States of America, the so-called imperial system is in use, creating problems for visiting tourists. The more rational France attempted to solve this by creating the metric system, as a part of the same process that created the ten-day week. Even the metric system has ugly quirks, though, so the SI Units were invented.

But throughout this progression, there is is a disturbing feeling of arbitrarity. Why is a kilogram a kilogram? Because that's the mass of a little iridium cylinder in Paris, which at one time was thought to weigh as much as a cube of water whith a side equal to 1/400,000,000 of the circumference of the Earth. We cannot expect the Americans to switch system on so arbitrary grounds, can we? Is there no way to create a truly universal system of units? One that even aliens from outer space could agree upon?

As a matter of fact there is! There are certain physical universal constants, which could in principle take any value, but were given a particular one by God. These are: the gravitational constant *G*(as used in general relativity), the speed of light *c*, Boltzmann's Constant *k* (thermodynamics) and planck's constant divided by 2pi *h-*(quantum mechanics). (Yes, divided by 2pi. Arbitrary, why do you say that?).

Now, each of these constants has a dimension, in the sense of mass, time, etc. If we use braces for "dimension of", and *M*, *L*, *T*, *t* for mass, length, time, and temperature, then:

{G} = force/mass = M^{-1}L^{3}T

{c} = velocity = LT^{-1}

{k} = energy/temperature = ML^{2}T^{-2}t^{-1}

{h-} = ML^{2}T^{-1}

So by simple multiplying, dividing, and taking roots of fundamental constants, we can form quantities of any dimension we wish. These quantities can then be used as universal units. Here we go:

...And so on. The Planck velocity becomes plain *c*, which for once does not seem terribly huge by comparison. The Planck density, according to my physics book, corresponds to the entire visible universe compressed to the size of a proton.

So we finally have a rational unit system. Now go lobby your politicians to implement the switch!