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From the food we eat and the pharmaceuticals doctors prescribe to the paints and fuel additives we use, the NIST develops the technology, measurement methods and standards to address the needs of the chemical industry.

International Year of the Periodic Table

The periodic table
Credit: N. Hanacek/NIST

Did you know that 2019 was declared the International Year of the Periodic Table by the United Nations General Assembly? It also happens to be the table's 150th anniversary.

Learn more about how NIST is helping celebrate.

NIST and the Nobel: Dan Shechtman

Illustration portrait of Dan Shechtman (transparent background)
Credit: Alex Fine/NIST
Dan Shechtman received the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering crystal structures previously unknown to science: quasicrystals.

Quasicrystals have transformed scientists’ understanding of how matter can arrange itself and opened scientists’ minds to a whole new class of materials that can exist. At NIST, Shechtman worked on identifying new materials that could be useful to industry, as part of NIST’s mission under the U.S. Department of Commerce. His study, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was designed to develop aluminum-transition metal alloys for aerospace applications. In the process, he made a discovery that revolutionized scientific thinking. 

Learn more about Shechtman's Nobel Prize-winning work.

News and Updates

A Better Pregnancy Test for Whales

It’s not easy to do pregnancy tests on whales. You can’t just ask a wild ocean animal that’s the size of a school bus to

Universe in the Balance

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found a way to link measurements made by a

Industry Impacts

Automotive Refrigerant Design

Traditional auto air conditioning refrigerants have high global warming potentials, but finding better refrigerants with the right properties has been a major

Chemical Manufacturing Process Design

Chemical plants need access to consistent, reliable data to design their products and assess the safety, quality and efficiency of their manufacturing processes



John Lehman Receives Rabinow Award

The Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award, first presented in 1975, is granted for outstanding achievements in the practical application of...