PML at Work
Highlights of Science and Services
The device developed by Boss for calibrating MRI scanners is designed to standardize imaging of the diffusion of water molecules, a technique that can be useful in diagnosing traumatic brain injury (TBI), neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
This state-of-the-art calibration service for will be sensitive enough to detect motion over distances as small as a few nanometers (the size scale of a single molecule) and frequencies up to 50,000 cycles per second (50 kHz).
NIST has now begun offering customers the second generation of its highly successful SSL Measurement Assurance Program (MAP-2), including a new set of lamp artifacts, new detailed measurement protocols, and revised operations.
In response to industrial needs, API and NIST will jointly research and develop new performance tests to help the automotive and aerospace industries understand and improve their industrial measurements.
Doctors devising a plan of attack on a tumor may one day gain another tactical advantage thanks to a series of sophisticated calculations proposed by PML’s Dosimetry group.
Plug-in electric vehicles are prompting increased demand for the electrical equivalent of the corner gas station. Now a standard produced by NIST’s U.S. National Work Group on Electric Vehicle Refueling and Submetering appears to be on its way to adoption.
A little detective work by nuclear physicists has uncovered hidden uncertainties in a popular method for precisely measuring radioactive nuclides, often used to make reference materials for forensic analyses such as radioactive dating.
In an effort to help shoppers everywhere get the best value for their money, researchers at NIST have produced a best practices guide for the layout and design of unit price labels.
A novel Portable Vacuum Standard (PVS) has been added to the roster of NIST’s Standard Reference Instruments (SRI). It is now available for purchase as part of NIST’s ongoing commitment to disseminate measurement standards.
For the first time in half a century, NIST’s 4.45-million newton (equivalent to one million pounds-force) deadweight machine – the largest in the world – is being disassembled for cleaning, restoration, and recalibration. The first stage of the process, dismantling the top half of the three-story stack of weights, is now complete.
A team of NIST scientists has devised and demonstrated a novel nanoscale memory technology for superconducting computing that could hasten the advent of an urgently awaited, low-energy alternative to power-hungry conventional data centers and supercomputers.
Two-dimensional (2D) materials such as molybdenum-disulfide (MoS2) are attracting much attention for future electronic and photonic applications ranging from high-performance computing to flexible and pervasive sensors and optoelectronics. Now PML scientists have discovered a better metal contact that improves two-dimensional transistor performance.
NIST scientists have developed a novel method to rapidly and accurately calibrate gas flow meters, such as those used to measure natural gas flowing in pipelines, by applying a fundamental physical principle.
As cancer diagnostic tools, the new PET-MR imagers have shown promise, but thoroughly assessing their clinical performance requires calibrating the machines in a way that is traceable to a national standard.
NIST has partnered with the private sector to develop the next-generation open-source control software for quantum information systems.
Spotting molecule-sized features—common in computer circuits and nanoscale devices—may become both easier and more accurate with a new sensor developed at NIST.
Two prototypes for tiny chip-based thermometers are illuminating light’s potential to revolutionize the way temperature is gauged.
NASDAQ has announced the launch of a precision time-stamping service for tens of billions of dollars of electronic financial transactions each day based on remote provision of NIST official U.S. time.
NIST imaging with a neutron CT scan was used in a recent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
PML researchers are exploring whether ultrasound can be used to improve quality assurance tests for radiotherapy beams.
PML is helping to bring teachers, students, and manufacturers together to give students access to tabletop scanning electron microscopes.
NIST hosted the Board of Directors of the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) this week for an overview of NIST's support of the electronics industry.
PML researchers have applied for a provisional patent on a device to protect expensive “spinning-rotor” high-vacuum gauges – used as transfer standards and reference standards by calibration labs – that are vulnerable to damage during transport.
A joint NIST-DHS project recently completed a series of image quality measurements of a high-energy x-ray vehicle-screening system at a new port-of-entry near El Paso, TX.
An ultra-stable, ultra-thin bonding technology has been adapted by PML researchers for use as a super-strong vacuum seal that is less than 100 nanometers thick.
NIST scientists have devised an experimental photon-detection system for communications with error rates far below even the most ideal conventional designs.
PML has launched a new multi-kilowatt laser power measurement service capability for high-power lasers of the sort used in cutting and welding metals, or defusing unexploded land mines.
Researchers reach a new milestone in the quest to make defect-free nanowires with diameters in the range of 100 nm -- at controlled size and location -- for applications including printable transistors for flexible electronics and high-efficiency light-emitting diodes.
The final frontier of microchip miniaturization is a transistor on the scale of a single atom. PML has iniitated a new research program to create just such a device in manufacturable, solid-state form by harnessing two capabilities unique to NIST.
NASA is funding NIST to use its Traveling SIRCUS laser-based sensor calibration facility to calibrate and characterize the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor on the first satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System. JPSS will constitute the next generation of polar-orbiting weather satellites, to be developed by NASA and operated by NOAA. The first is expected to launch in early 2017.
Ultra-sensitive magnetic sensor technology pioneered at PML may soon be commercialized for a host of applications from detection of unexploded bombs and underground pipes to geophysical surveying and perhaps even imaging of the brain and heart.
The color of scattered light from sunlit seawater contains important information about ocean health and concentration of substances such as chlorophyll. But taking color measurements from ships has been difficult because of interference from other sources of light -- for example, skylight reflected off the ocean's surface.
Now PML scientists have designed and produced a sand-blasted blue tile to serve as an ocean-like reflectance sample.
The NIST Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR), mothballed for more than a decade, is slated to make its space debut as part of the Deep Space Climate Observatory mission.
At the seventh in a series of workshops, researchers shared state-of-the-art samples for evaluation by about 20 NIST characterization techniques that do not exist anywhere else in the world.
Scientists at the new center will conduct basic research to understand how quantum systems can be effectively used to store, transport, and process information.
PML scientists are improving the standardization of the bullet-stopping chest and back plates worn by US soldiers in battle.
Within weeks of seeing “first light,” a novel pressure-sensing device has surpassed the performance of the best mercury-based techniques in resolution, speed, and range at a fraction of the size. The new instrument, called a fixed-length optical cavity (FLOC), works by detecting subtle changes in the wavelength of light passing through a cavity filled with nitrogen gas.
In a recent demonstration, a pair of laser frequency combs was used to measure the simultaneous signatures of several greenhouse gases along a 2-kilometer path.
The new service is offered for power levels up to 10 kilowatts(kW). These high-power lasers are used by manufacturers for applications such as cutting and welding metals, as well as by the military for more specialized applications like defusing unexploded land mines.
NIST has taken part in a new push to address a persistent and growing problem in physics: the value of G, the Newtonian constant of gravitation. The more experiments researchers conduct to pin G down, the more their results diverge.
Advanced spectrometers pioneered at NIST may speed the arrival of long-awaited materials and devices including advanced high-temperature superconductors and high-efficiency photovoltaic cells.
Image-calibration technology designed and developed by NIST scientists has been adopted for use in multi-site clinical trials in the United States and Europe to study the effects of traumatic brain injury.
James Olthoff, a 27-year veteran of NIST, has been named director of PML.
Researchers at NIST have demonstrated a laser-based imaging system that creates high-definition 3D maps of surfaces from as far away as 10.5 meters. The method may be useful in diverse fields, including precision machining and assembly, as well as in forensics.
To celebrate Metric Week (Oct. 5-11), NIST would like to introduce you to the League of SI Superheroes. The League of SI Superheroes use their incredible powers of measurement to perform amazing feats of science and engineering.