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Metrology

Overview

Metrology is the science of measurement and its application. NIST's work in metrology focuses on advancing measurement science to enhance economic security and improve quality of life. 

Almost all of NIST’s research has a metrology component to it. NIST’s metrology-related resources and activities include  calibrations, standard reference materials, standard reference data, test methods, proficiency evaluation materials, tools that facilitate the evaluation of measurement uncertainty, measurement quality assurance programs, and laboratory accreditation services that assist customers in establishing traceability of measurement results.

A key component of NIST’s metrology work is metrological traceability, which requires the establishment of an unbroken chain of calibrations to specified reference measurement standards: typically national or international standards, in particular realizations of the measurement units of the International System of Units (SI). 

NIST assures the traceability to the SI, or to other specified standards, of measurement results that NIST itself provides, either directly or through an official NIST program or collaboration. Other organizations are responsible for establishing the traceability of their own results to national reference standards maintained by NIST or to other specified reference standards. Learn more about metrological traceability.

The Research

Projects & Programs

Quantum Transport Measurements

Ongoing
We are developing the foundational knowledge and measurement infrastructure that will facilitate the use of solid state systems with emergent quantum properties

Acoustic Techniques in Fluid Metrology

Ongoing
The Fluid Metrology Group leads the world in designing and using gas-filled acoustic resonators for measuring the thermodynamic temperature T, the Boltzmann

Additional Resources Links

News

Film crew films a pair NIST researchers operating the NIST Kibble balance

‘The Last Artifact’ Brings Metrology to TV

Remember that documentary you saw that finally explained metrology and why measurements are critical to practically every aspect of modern life? Yeah, neither do I. Probably because that documentary doesn’t exist … Or does it? The Last Artifact, a new one-hour film that PBS stations are planning to broadcast starting this month, aims to fill that cinematic void by bringing metrology to the people
Heather Patrick

Measuring Up: Light reflection and transmission

microdroplets illustration

Sneezes, Rain Clouds and Ink Jets: NIST Improves the Ability of Optical Microscopes to Measure the Volume of Microdroplets

A tiny chip encased in clear plastic sits on a piece of graph paper.

Spotlight: A Stability-Boosting Swap for Our Chip-Scale Clock

Stay in Touch

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Upcoming Events

5786 Fundamentals of Metrology

Mon, Jan 31 - Fri, Feb 4 2022
The 5-day Fundamentals of Metrology seminar introduces participants to the concepts of measurement systems, units

5787 Volume Metrology Seminar

Mon, Feb 7 - Fri, Feb 11 2022
The 5-day OWM Volume Metrology Seminar is designed to enable metrologists to apply fundamental measurement concepts to