– the intergovernmental organization through which Member States act together
     on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards.
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Worldwide metrology

What is metrology?

Metrology is the science of measurement,
embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations
at any level of uncertainty
in any field of science and technology.

Measurement science is not, however, purely the preserve of scientists. It is something of vital importance to us all. The intricate but invisible network of services, suppliers and communications upon which we are all dependent rely on metrology for their efficient and reliable operation. For example:

  • The economic success of nations depends upon the ability to manufacture and trade precisely made and tested products and components;

  • Satellite navigation systems and international time correlation make accurate location possible – allowing the networking of computer systems around the world, and permitting aircraft to land in poor visibility;

  • Human health depends critically on the ability to make accurate diagnosis, and in which reliable measurement is increasingly important;

  • Consumers have to trust the amount of petrol delivered by a pump.

All forms of physical and chemical measurement affect the quality of the world in which we live. Because of the need for international agreement on matters concerning metrology, an international treaty known as the Metre Convention was established as early as 1875. This treaty founded the BIPM and remains today the basis of international agreement on units of measurement.