Here are some ideas I’m currently working on. Feel free to download the pdf where available. Comments and thoughts are very welcome, but please DO NOT CITE without permission.
Wolff, J.E.: The curious case of the mole.
In this paper I take a close look at the SI base quantity “amount of substance”, and its unit, the mole. The mole was introduced as a base unit in the SI in 1971, and there is currently a proposal to change its definition. I argue, first, that the current definition of the mole creates a certain ambiguity regarding the nature of the quantity “amount of substance”. I then evaluate some of the criticisms this ambiguity has prompted. Finally I look at how the new proposal affects the ontological status of “amount of substance”.
This paper is under review. Please do not cite without permission. (pdf)