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Most content on the NIST web site is "tagged" with a research area or other program topic. Below are the top-level topic areas. Each topic links to a landing page where you can find out more about what NIST is doing in that research or programmatic area.

Advanced communications

NIST promotes the development and deployment of advanced communications technologies by advancing the measurement science underlying wireless technologies.

Artificial intelligence

NIST aims to cultivate trust in the design, development, use and governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and systems in ways that enhance safety and security and improve quality of


NIST provides measurement assurance through the development of quantitative analytical measurement tools to aid industry in the deployment of innovative biotechnologies and advanced biomaterials.

Buildings & Construction

NIST develops safety standards for construction and studies ways to better protect buildings from hazards like earthquakes and windstorms.


NIST develops the technology, measurement methods and standards to address the needs of the chemical industry.


NIST addresses climate change in impactful ways, from measurements and modeling of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to research and tools to build more resilient communities and alternative energy


NIST develops cybersecurity standards, guidelines, best practices, and other resources to meet the needs of U.S. industry, federal agencies and the broader public. Our activities range from producing


NIST provides the standards, develops the instruments and performs the calibrations necessary to keep both the smallest electronic components and the largest power grids running smoothly and safely.


NIST develops the testing, measurements, and reference materials needed to ensure the quality of energy-related products and services and ensure fairness in the marketplace.


NIST is helping to advance measurements and tools for environmental science.


NIST's fire research develops, verifies and utilizes measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce its impact.

Forensic Science

Bringing together experts from the forensic, research, legal and law enforcement communities to strengthen forensic science and create a safer, more just society.


NIST provides measurement assurance for biomedical stakeholders through the development of measurement tools for medical devices, clinical diagnostics, imaging tools and the characterization of


NIST provides technical support to the nation's manufacturing industry as they strive to out-innovate and outperform the competition.


NIST develops testbeds, defines benchmarks and develops formability measurements and models for a variety of emerging materials.

Mathematics & Statistics

NIST researchers use the latest mathematics approaches and computational methods to help tackle some of the most difficult scientific, technical and engineering problems and tasks.


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


From leading cutting-edge research to coordinating standards development, NIST's nanotechnology programs directly impact priorities important to the nation's economy and well being.

Neutron research

NIST is at the forefront of basic research with neutrons, and the NIST Center for Neutron Research is a national resource for industry, universities and government agencies.

Performance excellence

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program offers criteria, assessments, tools, training and a community for those dedicated to helping organizations improve.


NIST provides the measurements, standards, and technical expertise scientists and industries need to push the limits of the fundamental properties of nature.

Public safety

From helping to develop technologies that detect explosives and locate survivors in a collapsed building to video software that identifies criminals, NIST is working to keep people safe.


NIST's resilience research focuses on the impact of hazards on buildings and communities and on post-disaster studies that provide the basis for improved standards, codes and practices.


When we talk about standards in our personal lives, we might think about the quality we expect in things such as restaurants and first dates. But the standards that exist in science and technology


NIST advances technology and develops standards to support the next generation of aerospace, automotive, and rail transport. NIST programs supporting transportation include automotive lightweighting,