Reg Standards Bureau A headline in the venerable New Scientist magazine "Protons are lighter than thought" has prompted El Reg's Standards Bureau to consider the notion of thought as a small unit of mass.
It was believed that the proton was about 0.877 femtometres, less than a trillionth of a millimetre. But now scientists have found the subatomic particle is 30 billionths of a per cent lighter than that estimate.
All atoms contain at least one proton, which means measurements of its size, charge and mass can help answer some of the big questions in physics, notes the article.
Boffins at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Germany have isolated a proton's measurement by trapping it in a combination of electric and magnetic fields.
Of course, we know that thoughts are generated by the firing of neurons in the brain and don't have a physical weight.
Although there is an energy cost to thought, with some folk appearing to expend a lot less on theirs (particularly a number of our current politicians).
The NS was referring to the fact that protons are lighter than previously believed.
Nevertheless, the Reg Standards Bureau is still banking the measurement as a useful tool in quantifying an idea produced by the process of thinking.
So if this infinitesimal mass is just under the equivalent of one proton, The Register wonders how many Katie Hopkins columns it would take to amass a single unit?
Hat-tip to Douglas from Cambridge for spotting this article. ®