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Encyclopedia > National Institute of Standards and Technology
NIST logo
NIST logo

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, formerly known as The National Bureau of Standards) is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration. The institute's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life. NIST logo from http://www. ... NIST logo from http://www. ... The United States Department of Commerce is a Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. ... Metrology (from Greek metron (measure), and -logy) is the science of measurement. ... The word standard has several meanings: Classically, standard referred to a flag or banner; especially, a national or other ensign carried into battle; thus standard bearer indicates the one who bears, or carries, the standard. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a level of technological mastery sufficient to leave the surface of the planet for the first time and explore space. ... The well-being or quality of life of a population is an important concern in economics and political science. ...

As part of this mission, NIST scientists and engineers continually refine the science of measurement, making possible the ultra precise engineering and manufacturing required for today’s most advanced technologies. They also are directly involved in standards development and testing done by the private sector and government agencies. NIST was originally called the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), a name that it had from 1901 until 1988. U.S. technological innovation and progress depend on NIST’s unique skills and capabilities, especially in four key areas: biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology and advanced manufacturing. For a List of scientists, see: List of anthropologists List of astronomers List of biologists List of chemists List of computer scientists List of economists List of engineers List of geologists List of inventors List of mathematicians List of meteorologists List of physicists Scientist pairs List of scientist pairs See... Engineering is the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve human problems. ... The structure of insulin Biotechnology is technology based on biology, especially when used in agriculture, food science, and medicine. ... Molecular gears from a NASA computer simulation. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

NIST had an operating budget for fiscal year 2006 (October 1, 2005-September 30, 2006) of about $930 million.[1] NIST employs about 2,800 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. Budget generally refers to a list of all planned expenses and revenues. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 1 is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... September 30 is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...



NIST's headquarters are in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It also has laboratories in Boulder, Colorado. NIST has four major programs through which it helps U.S. industry: the NIST Laboratories (physics, information technology, chemical science and technology, electronics and electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, manufacturing engineering, and building and fire research); the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (HMEP), a nationwide network of centers to assist small manufacturers; the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), a grant program where NIST and industry partners cost share the early-stage development of innovative but high-risk technologies; and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program, the nation's highest award for performance and business excellence. Location in the State of Maryland Coordinates: Country United States State Maryland County Montgomery Founded 1802 Incorporated April 5, 1878 Mayor Sidney A. Katz Area    - City 26. ... The City of Boulder (, Mountain Time Zone) is a home rule municipality located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. ... The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is given by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology. ...

NIST's Boulder laboratories are best known for NIST-F1, a clock that shares the distinction of being the world's most accurate atomic clock with a similar device in Paris, France. NIST-F1 serves as the source of the nation's official time. From its precise measurement of the natural resonance frequency of cesium—which is used to define the second—NIST broadcasts time signals via longwave radio station WWVB at Fort Collins, Colorado, and shortwave radio stations WWV and WWVH, located at Fort Collins, Colorado and Kekaha, Hawaii, respectively. NIST-F1, source of the official time of the United States NIST-F1 is a cesium fountain atomic clock that serves as the United States primary time and frequency standard. ... Atomic clock Chip-Scale Atomic Clock Unveiled by NIST An atomic clock is a type of clock that uses an atomic resonance frequency standard to feed its counter. ... The Eiffel Tower has become the symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... General Name, Symbol, Number Caesium, Cs, 55 Series Alkali metals Group, Period, Block 1(IA), 6, s Density, Hardness 1879 kg/m3, 0. ... A time signal is a visible, audible, mechanical, or electronic signal used as a reference to determine the time of day. ... Longwave can also refer to the economics concept of Kondratiev waves, or to the rock band Longwave The Longwave radio broadcasting band is the range of frequencies between 148. ... WWVB is a special NIST time signal radio station in Fort Collins, Colorado, co-located with WWV. WWVB is the station that radio-controlled clocks throughout North America use to synchronize themselves. ... Horsetooth Rock, atop Horsetooth Mountain, is often used as a symbol of Fort Collins. ... A solid-state, analog shortwave receiver Shortwave radio operates between the frequencies of 2,310 kHz and 30 MHz (30,000 kHz) [1] and came to be referred to as such in the early days of radio because the wavelengths associated with this frequency range were shorter than those commonly... To meet Wikipedias quality standards and appeal to a wider international audience, this article may require cleanup. ... WWV is the callsign of NISTs shortwave radio station located in Fort Collins, Colorado. ... WWVH is the callsign of NISTs shortwave radio time signal station in Kekaha, on the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii. ... Horsetooth Rock, atop Horsetooth Mountain, is often used as a symbol of Fort Collins. ... Kekaha is a census-designated place located in Kauai County, Hawaii. ...

Measurements and Standards

As part of its mission, NIST supplies industry, academia, government and other users with over 1,300 Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) of the highest quality and metrological value. These artifacts are certified as having specific characteristics or component content, making them valuable as calibration standards for measuring equipment and procedures, quality control benchmarks for industrial processes, and experimental control samples for all kinds of laboratories. For example, NIST SRMs for the food manufacturing sector include:

For the coarsely ground flour, see flour. ... Photo of powdered milk Powdered milk is a powder made from dried milk solids. ... Crassostrea gigas, Marennes-Oléron Crassostrea gigas, Marennes-Oléron Crassostrea gigas, Marennes-Oléron, opened The name oyster is used for a number of different groups of mollusks which grow for the most part in marine or brackish water. ... Species T. aestivum T. boeoticum T. compactum T. dicoccoides T. dicoccon T. durum T. monococcum T. spelta T. sphaerococcum References:   ITIS 42236 2002-09-22 For the indie rock group see: Wheat (band). ... Look up flour in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Species Oryza glaberrima Oryza sativa Rice is two species (Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima) of grass, native to tropical and subtropical southern & southeastern Asia and to Africa, which together provide more than one fifth of the calories consumed by humans[1]. (The term wild rice can refer to wild species... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Cattle (often called cows in vernacular and contemporary usage, or kye as the Scots plural of cou) are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... The liver is an organ in living beings, including humans. ... Look up Tomato in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The leaves of a Beech tree A leaf with laminar structure and pinnate venation In botany, a leaf is an above-ground plant organ specialized for photosynthesis. ... Water is a chemical substance that is essential to all known forms of life. ... Peanut Butter in a jar Peanut butter is a food made of roasted, ground, and blended peanuts, usually salted and sweetened. ...


NIST manages some of the world’s most specialized measurement facilities—including a cost effective NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) user facility where cutting edge research is done on new and improved materials, advanced fuel cells, and biotechnology.

NIST's Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) is among the most technically advanced research facilities of its kind in the world. The AML offers American researchers opportunities to make the most sensitive and reliable measurements. This is important as new technologies become more complex and smaller.

Based in the AML is the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST). The CNST's prime objective is to lay the technical groundwork necessary to translate nanotechnology’s many anticipated offerings into practical realities—manufacturable, market-ready products. To accomplish this goal, the center leverages and combines the diverse knowledge and capabilities of NIST, industry, academia, and other government agencies to support all phases of nanotechnology development. The CNST features a Nanofabrication (Nanofab) Facility. CNST's “clean room” is equipped with an array of state-of-the-art tools for making, testing, and characterizing prototype nanoscale devices and materials. These instruments will be available to collaborators and outside users through a proposal process.

Homeland security

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, NIST is playing a key role in enhancing the nation’s homeland security. Through projects spanning a wide range of research areas, NIST is helping law enforcement, the military, emergency services, information technology, airport and building security, and other areas protect the American public from terrorist threats. For example, NIST is currently developing government-wide identification card standards for federal employees and contractors to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to government buildings and computer systems. A sequential look at United Flight 175 crashing into the south tower of the World Trade Center The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11—pronounced nine eleven or nine one one) consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist[1] suicide attacks upon the United States, predominantly... Homeland security refers to governmental actions designed to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, and also respond to natural disasters. ... Terrorist redirects here. ... China ID card, front (top) back (bottom). ...

Collapse of the World Trade Center

In 2002 the National Construction Safety Team Act mandated NIST to conduct an investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center, as well as the 47-story 7 World Trade Center. The investigation covered three aspects, including a technical building and fire safety 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 is scheduled to be completed early in 2007 with the release of the final report on 7 World Trade Center. The final report on the WTC Towers -- including 30 recommendations for improving building and occupant safety -- was released on October 26, 2005.[2] 1 World Trade Center redirects here. ... The new 7 World Trade Center (view from southeast) There have been two buildings in New York City named 7 World Trade Center. ... Fire safety is a component of Building Safety. ... The new 7 World Trade Center (view from southeast) There have been two buildings in New York City named 7 World Trade Center. ... October 26 is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 66 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Electronic voting

In 2006 a NIST draft report raised questions about the effectiveness and safety of electronic voting machines.[1] Electronic voting machine by Diebold Election Systems used in all Brazilian elections and plebiscites. ...


Three researchers at NIST have been awarded Nobel Prizes for their work in physics, William D. Phillips in 1997, Eric A. Cornell in 2001 and John L. Hall in 2005. Other notable people who have worked at NIST include Nobel Prize medal. ... Categories: Stub | 1948 births | Nobel Prize in Physics winners ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Eric Allin Cornell (born December 19, 1961) is a physicist who, along with Carl E. Wieman, was able to synthesize Bose-Einstein condensate in 1995. ... This article is about the year 2001. ... John L. Hall (born 1934) is a JILA (formerly known as the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics) fellow and Physics lecturer at the University of Colorado at Boulder Physics department. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Lyman James Briggs (May 7, 1874 — March 25, 1963) was an American engineer, physicist and administrator, who is now chiefly known for heading the Briggs Advisory Committee on Uranium (widely known as the Uranium Committee or the Advisory Committee) and for the Lyman Briggs School of Science at Michigan State... John Cahn (1927 - ), American Scientist, winner of the National Medal of Science (1998), based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology since 1977. ... Ronald Collé (Feb. ... Dr. Hugh L. Dryden served as NASA Deputy Administrator from August 19, 1958 until his death on December 2, 1965. ... Photo on [1] Ugo Fano (July 28, 1912, Turin, Italy - February 13, 2001, Chicago, Illinois) was a leader in theoretical physics in the 20th century. ... Douglas Rayner Hartree (March 27, 1897 - February 12, 1958) was an English mathematician and physicist most famous for the development of numerical analysis and its application to atomic physics. ... Cornelius Lanczos, born Kornél Löwy (February 2, 1893–June 25, 1974), was a Hungarian mathematician and physicist. ... Jacob Rabinow (1910 - 1999) was an engineer who led a truly prolific career as an inventor. ...


The director of NIST is a Presidential appointment and confirmed by the Senate. Thirteen persons have held the position (in addition to two acting directors who served temporarily). They are:

  • Samuel W. Stratton, 1901-1922
  • George K. Burgess, 1923-1932
  • Lyman J. Briggs, 1932-1945
  • Edward U. Condon, 1945-1951
  • Allen V. Astin, 1951-1969
  • Lewis M. Branscomb, 1969-1972
  • Richard W. Roberts, 1973-1975
  • Ernest Ambler, 1975-1989
  • John W. Lyons, 1990-1993
  • Arati Prabhakar, 1993-1997
  • Raymond G. Kammer, 1997-2000
  • Karen Brown (acting director), 2000-2001
  • Arden L. Bement Jr., 2001-2004
  • Hratch Semerjian (acting director), 2004 - 2005
  • William Jeffrey, 2005-Present

Samuel Wesley Stratton (1861 - 1931) was a U.S. administrator and educator. ... George Kimball Burgess (1874–July 2, 1932) was an American physicist, born at Newton, Massachusetts. ... Lyman James Briggs (May 7, 1874 — March 25, 1963) was an American engineer, physicist and administrator, who is now chiefly known for heading the Briggs Advisory Committee on Uranium (widely known as the Uranium Committee or the Advisory Committee) and for the Lyman Briggs School of Science at Michigan State... Dr. William Jeffrey is the 13th Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), sworn into the office on July 26, 2005. ...

See also

Cover of brochure The International System of Units. ... The International Bureau of Weights and Measures is the English name of the Bureau international des poids et mesures (BIPM, often written in English Bureau International des Poids et Mesures), a standards organisation, one of the three organizations established to maintain the International System of Units (SI) under the terms... The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements or IRMM, located in Geel, Belgium, is one of the seven institutes of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), a Directorate-General of the European Commission (EC). ... ISO 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories has been described as ISO 9000 with knobs on. Predating the relaunch of the revised ISO 9000:2000 series, it takes quality management systems a stage further by looking at the competence of the laboratory as well as...


  1. ^ NIST budget, planning and economic analysis. National Institute of Standards and Technology (2006-08-02). Retrieved on 2006-12-24.
  2. ^ Final Reports of the Federal Building and Fire Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster. National Institute of Standards and Technology (October 2005).

2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 2 is the 214th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (215th in leap years), with 151 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 24 is the 358th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (359th in leap years). ...

External links



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