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Case Against Optical Gauge Block Metrology



Theodore D. Doiron, Dennis S. Everett, Bryon S. Faust, Eric S. Stanfield, John R. Stoup


The current definition of length of a gage block is a very clever attempt to evade the systematic errors associated with the wringing layer thickness and optical phase corrections. In practice, there are very large systematic operator and surface effects which cause systematic errors and most laboratories wring blocks to quartz or fused silica. We present quantitative data on these effects and show through detailed uncertainty budgets that the current definition of gage block length is the primary source of measurement uncertainty. For comparison, an uncertainty budget for gage block calibration by mechanical contact is presented.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of SPIE
Conference Dates
July 20, 1998
Conference Location
San Diego, CA, USA
Conference Title
Recent Developments in Optical Gauge Block Metrology, Jennifer E. Decker, Nicholas Brown, Editors


dimensional metrology, gage block, gauge block, interferometry, measurement uncertainty, mechanical deformation, operator bias, optical phase, wringing layers


Doiron, T. , Everett, D. , Faust, B. , Stanfield, E. and Stoup, J. (1998), Case Against Optical Gauge Block Metrology, Proceedings of SPIE, San Diego, CA, USA (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created August 31, 1998, Updated October 12, 2021