National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Encyclopedia
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute (NMI), which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce
United States Department of Commerce
The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903...

. The institute's official mission is to:
NIST had an operating budget
Budget
A budget is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods...

 for fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006-September 30, 2007) of about $843.3 million. NIST's 2009 budget was $992 million, but it also received $610 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, abbreviated ARRA and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.To...

. NIST employs about 2,900 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support and administrative personnel. About 1,800 NIST associates (guest researchers and engineers from American companies and foreign nations) complement the staff. In addition, NIST partners with 1,400 manufacturing specialists and staff at nearly 350 affiliated centers around the country. NIST publishes the Handbook 44 that provides the "Specifications, tolerances, and other technical requirements for weighing and measuring devices".

Initial mandate


In 1821 John Quincy Adams stated, "Weights and measures may be ranked among the necessities of life to every individual of human society.", but this had long been understood. The Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

, ratified by the colonies in 1781, contained the clause, "The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states—fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States— ....". Article 1, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States (1789), transferred this power to Congress; "The Congress shall have power ... To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures".

In January 1790 President Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

, in his first annual message to Congress stated that, "Uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States is an object of great importance, and will, I am persuaded, be duly attended to", and ordered Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

 Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 to prepare a plan for Establishing Uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measures of the United States, afterwards referred to as the Jefferson report. On October 25,1791 Washington appealed a third time to Congress, "A uniformity of the weights and measures of the country is among the important objects submitted to you by the Constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 and if it can be derived from a standard at once invariable and universal, must be no less honorable to the public council than conducive to the public convenience." , but it was not until 1838 that a uniform set of standards was worked out.

History of agency


From 1830 until 1901, the role of overseeing weights and measures was carried out by the Office of Standard Weights and Measures, which was part of the U.S. Treasury Department.

The "Office of Weights and Measures" became the "National Bureau of Standards" on July 1, 1901, which was reorganized into the National Institute of Standards and Technology on 1988. In 1905 a meeting was called that would be the first "National Conference on Weights and Measures".

Metric system


The Congress of 1866 legalized the use of the metric system through the passage of US code 1952 Ed., Title 15, Ch 6, section 204 and 205. On May 20, 1875, 17 of 20 countries signed a document known as the Metric Convention or the Treaty of the Meter which established the International Bureau of Weights and Measures
International Bureau of Weights and Measures
The International Bureau of Weights and Measures , is an international standards organisation, one of three such organisations established to maintain the International System of Units under the terms of the Metre Convention...

 under the control of an international committee elected by the General Conference on Weights and Measures
General Conference on Weights and Measures
The General Conference on Weights and Measures is the English name of the Conférence générale des poids et mesures . It is one of the three organizations established to maintain the International System of Units under the terms of the Convention du Mètre of 1875...

.

Organization


NIST is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Gaithersburg is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. The city had a population of 59,933 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth largest incorporated city in the state, behind Baltimore, Frederick, and Rockville...

, and operates a facility in Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...

. NIST's activities are organized into laboratory programs, and extramural programs. Effective October 1, 2010, NIST was realigned by reducing the number of NIST laboratory units from ten to six. NIST Laboratories include:

Extramural programs include:
  • Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a nationwide network of centers to assist small and mid-sized manufacturers to create and retain jobs, improve efficiencies, and minimize waste through process improvements and to increase market penetration with innovation and growth strategies;
  • Technology Innovation Program
    Advanced Technology Program
    The NIST Advanced Technology Program is a United States Government program designed to simulate early stage advanced technology development that would otherwise not be fundable.ATP unique in that it is designed for early stage research in industry, not academia, though it...

     (TIP), a grant program where NIST and industry partners cost share the early-stage development of innovative but high-risk technologies;
  • Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
    Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award
    The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes U.S. organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence. The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organizations given by...

     program, the nation's highest award for performance and business excellence.


NIST's Boulder laboratories are best known for NIST-F1
NIST-F1
NIST-F1 is a cesium fountain clock or atomic clock in the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, and serves as the United States' primary time and frequency standard...

, housing an atomic clock
Atomic clock
An atomic clock is a clock that uses an electronic transition frequency in the microwave, optical, or ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms as a frequency standard for its timekeeping element...

. NIST-F1 serves as the source of the nation's official time. From its measurement of the natural resonance frequency of caesium
Caesium
Caesium or cesium is the chemical element with the symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-gold alkali metal with a melting point of 28 °C , which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at room temperature...

—which is used to define the second
Second
The second is a unit of measurement of time, and is the International System of Units base unit of time. It may be measured using a clock....

—NIST broadcasts time signal
Time signal
A time signal is a visible, audible, mechanical, or electronic signal used as a reference to determine the time of day.-Audible and visible time signals:...

s via longwave
Longwave
In radio, longwave refers to parts of radio spectrum with relatively long wavelengths. The term is a historic one dating from the early 20th century, when the radio spectrum was considered to consist of long, medium and short wavelengths...

 radio station WWVB
WWVB
WWVB is a NIST time signal radio station near Fort Collins, Colorado, co-located with WWV. WWVB is the station that radio-controlled clocks in most of North America use to synchronize themselves. The signal transmitted from WWVB is a continuous 60 kHz carrier wave, derived from a set of atomic...

 at Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is a Home Rule Municipality situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, and is the county seat and most populous city of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Fort Collins is located north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2010 census...

, and shortwave
Shortwave
Shortwave radio refers to the upper MF and all of the HF portion of the radio spectrum, between 1,800–30,000 kHz. Shortwave radio received its name because the wavelengths in this band are shorter than 200 m which marked the original upper limit of the medium frequency band first used...

 radio station
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

s WWV and WWVH
WWVH
WWVH is the callsign of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's shortwave radio time signal station in Kekaha, on the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii....

, located at Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is a Home Rule Municipality situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, and is the county seat and most populous city of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Fort Collins is located north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2010 census...

 and Kekaha, Hawaii
Kekaha, Hawaii
Kekaha is a census-designated place in Kauai County, Hawaii, United States. The population was 3,175 at the 2000 census.-History:...

, respectively.


NIST also operates a neutron
Neutron source
A Neutron source is a device that emits neutrons. There is a wide variety of different sources, ranging from hand-held radioactive sources to neutron research facilities operating research reactors and spallation sources...

 science user facility: the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). The NCNR provides scientists access to a variety of neutron scattering
Neutron scattering
Neutron scattering,the scattering of free neutrons by matter,is a physical processand an experimental technique using this processfor the investigation of materials.Neutron scattering as a physical process is of primordial importance...

 instruments, which are used in many fields of research (materials science, fuel cells, biotechnology, etc.).

The SURF III Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility is a source of synchrotron radiation
Synchrotron radiation
The electromagnetic radiation emitted when charged particles are accelerated radially is called synchrotron radiation. It is produced in synchrotrons using bending magnets, undulators and/or wigglers...

, in continuous operation since 1961. SURF III now serves as the US national standard for source-based radiometry throughout the generalized optical spectrum. All NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

-borne extreme-ultraviolet observation instruments have been calibrated at SURF since the 1970s, and SURF is used for measurement and characterization of systems for extreme ultraviolet lithography
Extreme ultraviolet lithography
Extreme ultraviolet lithography is a next-generation lithography technology using an extreme ultraviolet wavelength, currently expected to be 13.5 nm.-EUVL light source:...

.

The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) performs research in nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

, both through internal research efforts and by running a user-accessible cleanroom
Cleanroom
A cleanroom is an environment, typically used in manufacturing or scientific research, that has a low level of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapors. More accurately, a cleanroom has a controlled level of contamination that is specified by...

 nanomanufacturing facility. This 'NanoFab' is equipped with tools for lithographic
Lithography
Lithography is a method for printing using a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface...

 patterning and imaging (e.g. electron microscopes and atomic force microscope
Atomic force microscope
Atomic force microscopy or scanning force microscopy is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy, with demonstrated resolution on the order of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit...

s).

Measurements and standards



As part of its mission, NIST supplies industry, academia, government, and other users with over 1,300 Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). These artifacts are certified as having specific characteristics or component content, used as calibration standards for measuring equipment and procedures, quality control benchmarks for industrial processes, and experimental control samples.

Handbook 44


NIST publishes the "Handbook 44" each year after the annual meeting of the National Conference on Weights and Measures
National Conference on Weights and Measures
The National Conference on Weights and Measures is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing and regulating the United States technical standards for weights and measures...

 (NCWM). Each edition is developed through cooperation of the Committee on Specifications and Tolerances of the NCWM and the Weights and Measures Division (WMD) of the NIST. The purpose of the book is a partial fulfillment of the statutory responsibility for "cooperation with the states in securing uniformity of weights and measures laws and methods of inspection."

NIST has been publishing various forms of what is now the "Handbook 44" since 1918 and began publication under the current name in 1949. The 2010 edition conforms to the concept of the primary use of the SI (metric) measurements recommended by the Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act
Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act
The Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 is an act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.-History:...

 (of 1988)

Committees


NIST has seven standing committees:
  • Technical Guidelines Development Committee
    Technical Guidelines Development Committee
    The Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology supports the Election Assistance Commission in the United States by providing recommendations on voluntary standards and guidelines related to voting equipment and technologies...

     (TGDC)
  • Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction
    Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction
    The 2004 reauthorization of National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program directed that the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology establish the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction to assess:* trends and developments in the science and engineering of...

     (ACEHR)
  • National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee (NCST Advisory Committee)
  • Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB)
  • Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT)
  • Baldrige National Quality Program Board of Overseers (BNQP Board of Overseers)
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Advisory Board (MEPNAB)

Homeland security


NIST is currently developing government-wide identification card
Identity document
An identity document is any document which may be used to verify aspects of a person's personal identity. If issued in the form of a small, mostly standard-sized card, it is usually called an identity card...

 standards for federal employees and contractors to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to government buildings and computer systems.

World Trade Center Collapse Investigation


In 2002 the National Construction Safety Team Act mandated NIST to conduct an investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 buildings 1 and 2 and the 47-story 7 World Trade Center
7 World Trade Center
7 World Trade Center is a building in New York City located across from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. It is the second building to bear that name and address in that location. The original structure was completed in 1987 and was destroyed in the September 11 attacks...

. The "World Trade Center Collapse Investigation", directed by lead investigator Shyam Sunder, covered three aspects, including a technical building and fire safety
Fire safety
Fire safety refers to precautions that are taken to prevent or reduce the likelihood of a fire that may result in death, injury, or property damage, alert those in a structure to the presence of a fire in the event one occurs, better enable those threatened by a fire to survive, or to reduce the...

 investigation to study the factors contributing to the probable cause of the collapses of the WTC Towers (WTC 1 and 2) and WTC 7. NIST also established a research and development program to provide the technical basis for improved building and fire codes, standards, and practices, and a dissemination and technical assistance program to engage leaders of the construction and building community in implementing proposed changes to practices, standards, and codes. NIST also is providing practical guidance and tools to better prepare facility owners, contractors, architects, engineers, emergency responders, and regulatory authorities to respond to future disasters. The investigation portion of the response plan was completed with the release of the final report on 7 World Trade Center on November 20, 2008. The final report on the WTC Towers – including 30 recommendations for improving building and occupant safety – was released on October 26, 2005.

Election technology


NIST works in conjunction with the Technical Guidelines Development Committee
Technical Guidelines Development Committee
The Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology supports the Election Assistance Commission in the United States by providing recommendations on voluntary standards and guidelines related to voting equipment and technologies...

 of the Election Assistance Commission
Election Assistance Commission
The Election Assistance Commission is an independent agency of the United States government created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 . The Commission serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration...

 to develop the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines
Voluntary Voting System Guidelines
The Voluntary Voting System Guidelines are guidelines adopted by the United States Election Assistance Commission for the certification of voting systems...

 for voting machine
Voting machine
Voting machines are the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment , that is used to define ballots; to cast and count votes; to report or display election results; and to maintain and produce any audit trail information...

s and other election technology.

SAMATE


SAMATE (Software Assurance Metrics And Tool Evaluation) is a NIST project focused on improving software assurance by developing methods to enable software tool evaluations, measuring the effectiveness of tools and techniques, and identifying gaps in tools and methods.

People


Three researchers at NIST have been awarded Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

s for their work in Physics: William D. Phillips in 1997, Eric A. Cornell in 2001, John L. Hall
John L. Hall
John Lewis "Jan" Hall is an American physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics. He shared one half of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics with Theodor W. Hänsch for his work in precision spectroscopy.-Biography:...

 in 2005, which is the largest number for any US government laboratory. In 2011, Dan Shechtman
Dan Shechtman
Dan Shechtman is the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an Associate of the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University. On April 8, 1982, while on sabbatical at the U.S...

 of the Technion was awarded the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 in Chemistry for his work in the Metallurgy Division in 1982-1984 with John W. Cahn
John W. Cahn
John Werner Cahn is an American scientist and winner of the 1998 National Medal of Science. He was a professor in the department of Materials Science at MIT from 1964-1978. Since 1977, he has held a position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology . Dr...

 (this discovery was originally shunned by staff at NIST: "The
head of the laboratory gave him a textbook of crystallography and suggested he should read it"). Other notable people who have worked at NIST include:
  • Milton Abramowitz
    Milton Abramowitz
    Milton Abramowitz was a mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards who, with Irene Stegun, edited a classic book of mathematical tables called Handbook of Mathematical Functions, widely known as Abramowitz and Stegun. Abramowitz died of a heart attack in 1958, at which time the book was not...

  • James S. Albus
    James S. Albus
    James Sacra Albus was an American engineer, Senior NIST Fellow and founder and former chief of the Intelligent Systems Division of the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology .- Biography :Born in Louisville Ky., Albus received the B.S...

  • Ferdinand Brickwedde
    Ferdinand Brickwedde
    Ferdinand Graft Brickwedde , a physicist at the National Bureau of Standards , in 1931 produced the first sample of hydrogen in which the spectrum of its heavy isotope, deuterium, could be observed...

  • Lyman James Briggs
    Lyman James Briggs
    Lyman James Briggs was an American engineer, physicist and administrator. He was a distinguished director of the National Bureau of Standards during the Great Depression and chairman of the Uranium Committee before America entered the Second World War...

  • Edgar Buckingham
  • John W. Cahn
    John W. Cahn
    John Werner Cahn is an American scientist and winner of the 1998 National Medal of Science. He was a professor in the department of Materials Science at MIT from 1964-1978. Since 1977, he has held a position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology . Dr...

  • William Coblentz
    William Coblentz
    William Weber Coblentz was an American physicist notable for his contributions to infrared radiometry and spectroscopy.-Early life, education, and employment:...

  • Ronald Colle
    Ronald Collé
    Ronald Collé is a specialist in nuclear and radiochemistry, radionuclidic metrology, and the development of standards. He has worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology from 1976 to 2003 and from 2005 to present, and currently serves as a Research Chemist in the Radioactivity...

  • Philip J. Davis
    Philip J. Davis
    Philip J. Davis is an American applied mathematician.Davis was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He is known for his work in numerical analysis and approximation theory, as well as his investigations in the history and philosophy of mathematics...

  • Hugh L. Dryden
  • Jack Edmonds
    Jack Edmonds
    Jack R. Edmonds is a mathematician, regarded as one of the most important contributors to the field of combinatorial optimization...

  • Ugo Fano
    Ugo Fano
    Ugo Fano was an Italian American physicist, a leader in theoretical physics in the 20th century.- Biography :Ugo Fano was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Turin, Italy...

  • Charlotte Froese Fischer
    Charlotte Froese Fischer
    Acad. Prof. Dr. Charlotte Froese Fischer PhD is a Canadian-American applied mathematician and computer scientist who gained world recognition for the development and implementation of the Multi-configurational Hartree-Fock approach to atomic structure calculations and for her theoretical...

  • Tim Foecke
    Tim Foecke
    Timothy Foecke is an American metallurgist, Deputy Chief of the Metallurgy Division, Leader of the Materials Performance Group, and Director of the NIST Center for Automotive Lightweighting at the National Institute of Standards and Technology .- Biography :Foecke received a bachelor's degree...


  • John C. Garand
  • Douglas Hartree
    Douglas Hartree
    Douglas Rayner Hartree PhD, FRS was an English mathematician and physicist most famous for the development of numerical analysis and its application to the Hartree-Fock equations of atomic physics and the construction of the meccano differential analyser.-Early life:Douglas Hartree was born in...

  • Magnus Hestenes
    Magnus Hestenes
    Magnus Rudolph Hestenes was an American mathematician. Together with Cornelius Lanczos and Eduard Stiefel, he invented the conjugate gradient method....

  • Cornelius Lanczos
    Cornelius Lanczos
    Cornelius Lanczos Löwy Kornél was a Hungarian-Jewish mathematician and physicist, who was born on February 2, 1893, and died on June 25, 1974....

  • Wilfrid Mann
    Wilfrid Basil Mann
    Wilfrid Basil Mann was a radionuclide metrologist.He was born in Ealing, Middlesex in the United Kingdom on August 4, 1908, he received his Doctorate in Physics from Imperial College of Science and Technology in London in 1937....

  • William Meggers
    William Frederick Meggers
    William Frederick Meggers was an American physicist specialising in spectroscopy.Born in Wisconsin, he had to combine his early schooling with working on the family farm, but earned a scholarship to Ripon College, receiving a bachelor's degree in Physics in 1910 and working as a research assistant...

  • James G. Nell
    James G. Nell
    James G. Nell is an American engineer, who was the principal investigator of the Manufacturing Enterprise Integration at the National Institute of Standards and Technology , known for his work on Enterprise integration.- Biography :...

  • Ward Plummer
    Ward Plummer
    E. Ward Plummer is an American physicist. His main contributions are in surface physics of metals. Plummer is a Professor of Physics at Louisiana State University.-Biography:...

  • Jacob Rabinow
    Jacob Rabinow
    Jacob Rabinow was an engineer who led a truly prolific career as an inventor. He earned a total of 230 U.S. patents on a variety of mechanical, optical and electrical devices....

  • Richard Saykally
  • Dan Shechtman
    Dan Shechtman
    Dan Shechtman is the Philip Tobias Professor of Materials Science at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, an Associate of the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, and Professor of Materials Science at Iowa State University. On April 8, 1982, while on sabbatical at the U.S...

  • Charlotte Moore Sitterly
    Charlotte Moore Sitterly
    Charlotte Emma Moore Sitterly was an American astronomer.Charlotte Moore was born in Ercildoun, Pennsylvania, a small village near Coatesville. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1920 and went on to Princeton to assist Henry Norris Russell. During this time she worked at the Princeton...

  • Irene Stegun
    Irene Stegun
    Irene Anne Stegun was a mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards who, with Milton Abramowitz, edited a classic book of mathematical tables called A Handbook of Mathematical Functions, widely known as Abramowitz and Stegun...

  • Bill Stone


Directors


Since 1989, the director of NIST has been a Schedule-C Presidential appointee and is confirmed by the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, and since that year the average tenure of NIST directors has fallen from 11 years to 2 years in duration. Fourteen persons have officially held the position (in addition to three acting directors who served temporarily). They are:
  • Samuel W. Stratton
    Samuel Wesley Stratton
    Samuel Wesley Stratton was an administrator in the American government, physicist, and educator.Stratton was born on farm in Litchfield, Illinois on July 18, 1861. In his youth he kept farm machinery in repair and worked as a mechanic and carpenter...

    , 1901-1922
  • George K. Burgess
    George Kimball Burgess
    George Kimball Burgess was an American physicist, considered one of the most notable scientists of his era. He authored and translated numerous studies, was a leading member and president of many scientific societies and, for the last nine years of his life, served as director of the National...

    , 1923-1932
  • Lyman J. Briggs
    Lyman James Briggs
    Lyman James Briggs was an American engineer, physicist and administrator. He was a distinguished director of the National Bureau of Standards during the Great Depression and chairman of the Uranium Committee before America entered the Second World War...

    , 1932-1945
  • Edward U. Condon
    Edward Condon
    Edward Uhler Condon was a distinguished American nuclear physicist, a pioneer in quantum mechanics, and a participant in the development of radar and nuclear weapons during World War II.-Early life and career:...

    , 1945-1951
  • Allen V. Astin, 1951-1969
  • Lewis M. Branscomb
    Lewis M. Branscomb
    Lewis M. Branscomb is an American physicist, government policy advisor, and corporate research manager. He is best known as former head of the National Bureau of Standards and, later, chief scientist of IBM; and as a prolific writer on science policy issues.Following World War II service in the...

    , 1969-1972
  • Richard W. Roberts, 1973-1975
  • Ernest Ambler, 1975-1989
  • John W. Lyons, 1990-1993
  • Arati Prabhakar
    Arati Prabhakar
    Arati Prabhakar is an engineer who headed NIST from 1993-1997. She earned her PhD in applied physics from Caltech in 1984 and was the first female to head the institute.-References:...

    , 1993-1997
  • Raymond G. Kammer, 1997-2000
  • Karen Brown (acting director), 2000-2001
  • Arden L. Bement Jr.
    Arden L. Bement Jr.
    Arden Lee Bement, Jr. is an American engineer and scientist. He is a former Director of the National Science Foundation , and had previously served as Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology...

    , 2001-2004
  • Hratch Semerjian (acting director), 2004-2005
  • William Jeffrey, 2005-2007
  • James Turner (acting director), 2007-2008
  • Patrick D. Gallagher, 2008- present


NBS Director Allen V. Astin is the father of actor John Astin
John Astin
John Allen Astin is an American actor who has appeared in numerous films and television shows, and is best known for the role of Gomez Addams on The Addams Family, and other similarly eccentric comedic characters.-Early years:...

 and the grandfather of actor Sean Astin
Sean Astin
Sean Astin is an American film actor, director, voice artist, and producer better known for his film roles as Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, the title character of Rudy, and Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In television, he appeared as Lynn McGill in the fifth season of 24...

.

See also

  • Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD)
    Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD)
    ICSD is a database of inorganic crystal structure data. It was founded in 1978 by Günter Bergerhoff and I.D.Brown . It is now produced by the Fachinformationszentrum Karlsruhe in Europe and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology...

  • International System of Units
    International System of Units
    The International System of Units is the modern form of the metric system and is generally a system of units of measurement devised around seven base units and the convenience of the number ten. The older metric system included several groups of units...

    , see International Bureau of Weights and Measures
    International Bureau of Weights and Measures
    The International Bureau of Weights and Measures , is an international standards organisation, one of three such organisations established to maintain the International System of Units under the terms of the Metre Convention...

  • ISO 17025 - used by testing and calibration laboratories
  • Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
    Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
    The Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology is the scientific journal of National Institute of Standards and Technology. The editor in chief is Theodore V. Vorburger....

  • Metrology
    Metrology
    Metrology is the science of measurement. Metrology includes all theoretical and practical aspects of measurement. The word comes from Greek μέτρον , "measure" + "λόγος" , amongst others meaning "speech, oration, discourse, quote, study, calculation, reason"...

  • National Software Reference Library
    National Software Reference Library
    The National Software Reference Library , a project of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is supported by the United States Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice, federal, state, and local law enforcement, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology...


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