Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The NIST Length Scale Interferometer

Published

Author(s)

John S. Beers, William B. Penzes

Abstract

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) interferometer for measuring graduated length scales has been in use since 1965. It was developed in response to the redefinition of the meter in 1960 from the prototype platinum-iridium bar to the wavelength of light. The history of the interferometer is recalled, and its design and operation described. A continuous program of modernization by making physical modifications, measurement procedure changes and computational revisions is described, and the effects of these changes are evaluated. Results of a long-term measurement assurance program, the primary control on the measurement process, are presented, and improvements in measurement uncertainty are documented.
Citation
Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Volume
104(3)

Keywords

graduated scales, interferometry, length, measurement assurance, measurement uncertainty

Citation

Beers, J. and Penzes, W. (1999), The NIST Length Scale Interferometer, Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=820924 (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created May 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017