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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

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

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


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
Cameras and equipment set up in the studio in front of a table

NIST Office of Weights and Measures Launches Studio 220 for Inhouse Training Video and Event Production

Graphic image with scale in front and person typing on a laptop in the background. Text on image reads: NIST Office of Weights and Measures, NIST SP 2200 Legal Metrology Publication Series.

NIST Office of Weights and Measures Launches New SP 2200 Legal Metrology Publication Series

Infographic comparing characteristics of a checker vs. an inspector

Quantity Versus Quality of Inspections – Taking Shortcuts

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Upcoming Events

5816 Fundamentals of Metrology

Mon, Oct 17 - Fri, Oct 21 2022
The 5-day Fundamentals of Metrology seminar is an intensive course that introduces participants to the concepts of

5826 Fundamentals of Metrology

Mon, Jan 30 - Fri, Feb 3 2023
The 5-day Fundamentals of Metrology seminar is an intensive course that introduces participants to the concepts of