NIST Centennial Homepage

NIST at 100: Foundations for Progress

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For 100 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has helped to keep U.S. technology at the leading edge. Over the years, NIST has made solid contributions to image processing, DNA diagnostic "chips," smoke detectors, and automated error-correcting software for machine tools. NIST also has had major impact on atomic clocks, X-ray standards for mammography, scanning tunneling microscopy, pollution-control technology, and high-speed dental drills.

radio set

1920--a NIST staff member listens with something like incredulity to a radio broadcast picked up by a homemade crystal set. Read more.

Founded on March 3, 1901, as the National Bureau of Standards, NIST was one of the first federal research laboratories. NIST's major accomplishments of the past 100 years and their impact on industry, science and technology, the nation's economy, and the public—are described in NIST at 100: Foundations for Progress, an extensive, illustrated web site. Another fact sheet briefly summarizes the benefits of NIST's research and services.

See a sampling of the impacts NIST has had on industry, science, consumers, technology, and national security.

Notice of Online Archive: This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of 2001. For questions about page contents, please contact us.
Created July 22, 2013, Updated December 30, 2016