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Rocío M. Marbán Julio A. Pellecer C.
To contact the authors: 2001 Producción y Servicios Incorporados S.A. Calzada Mateo Flores 5-55, Zona 3 de Mixco Guatemala, Centro América Tel.: (502)431-0662 Fax: (502)434-0692 email: email@example.com
ISBN 99922-770-1-7 © OAS, 2002
This English version of the second revised edition is published under the sponsorship of SIM.
The Interamerican Metrology System, SIM (Sistema Interamericano de Metrología, Normalización, Acreditación y Calidad) is the regional organization for metrology in America, comprising national metrology institutes from the 34 member nations represented at the Organization of the American States, OAS, which acts as its Executive Secretariat.
The opinions stated in this document are not necessarily opinions of the OAS, its bodies or its staff.
CONTENTS Acknowledgements Presentation Introduction What we measure and how Characterization of metrology Vocabulary Applications .what is measured and what for Length Mass Temperature Time and frequency Electricity and magnetism Photometry and radiometry Acoustics and vibrations Ionizing radiation Chemistry Standards and reference materials Introduction Length Mass ix xi 1 11 19 21 27 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 37 39 45 vii .
these expressions reflect a primitive comparison that is still valid and presently we can say that metrology is the science of measurements and that to measure is to compare with something (a unit) which is taken as the basis for comparison. cold-hot.in other words: measurements and their units. it is easy to think of bases for comparison of personal concepts . quiet-noisy. 1 .treaty. This concept is certainly as old as human beings: “I have nothing”. Measurements for primitive human beings began with the ideas of: near-far. At first these were personal perceptions. light-heavy.INTRODUCTION The initial concept of metrology derives from its etymology: from the Greek metros . “I have something”. and logos . through the ages. clear-dark. Thus. to generally accepted bases for comparison. fast-slow. after several millennia. hard-soft. “I have much”. but experience and life in common gave rise to comparisons between persons and.measure.
That is.Metrology for non-metrologists Some of these measurements and units are basic: MEASURE length mass time temperature intensity of light electric current amount of substance UNIT metre (meter) kilogram second kelvin candela ampere mol For other purposes. A unit is a value in terms of which a quantity may be described. a unit is expressed algebraically in terms of other units. it must not be broken down into its elements. is to enter a world of scientific algorithms for specific purposes. qua unit. not covered by the above. To enter the realm of units based on one or more fundamental units. Mul2 . called derived units because they use or are based on the base units. using mathematical algorithms. it is often necessary to use other measurement units. which is why derived units are more numerous. It must be stressed that.
humidity. 3 . and now a standard can be defined as: a materialized measure. Because of their characteristics. this something is known as a measurement standard or simply a standard. that is. based on universal physical constants. It was necessary to stress that the standard was a trustworthy representation of the unit only under a set of precisely defined conditions. Originally.Introduction tiples and sub-multiples are used to express quantities larger or smaller than those of the unit per se. atmospheric pressure. to make sure it was independent of environmental influences such as temperature. Today. they use powers of 10. Instead they were the basic reference point for the manufacture and calibration of the instruments that are used for such purposes. physical standards were not used to directly take measurements. We mentioned using something with which to compare. we have more exact and reliable definitions for the units. etc. We will see later on that in the International System of Units multiples and sub-multiples are decimal. a standard was considered to be a representation or physical embodiment of a unit. thanks to scientific advances.
we decide what we are going to measure. there are precise instructions on how to carry out the procedure. conservation. . which units to use and which standard.Metrology for non-metrologists measurement instrument. Archeological finds show that very ancient civilizations had well-defined concepts of weighing and measuring. let us have a brief. . very brief look. reference material or measurement system. in fact. It is also important that the procedure used to measure give reproducible results and. or reproduction of a unit. land division. whose purpose is the definition. for transmission by comparison to other measurement instruments (2). at the history of measurement. materialization. Before going into details of the main measures.we select the unit according to the measure. or one or several known values of a quantity.we select the measuring instrument (calibrated).we apply the accepted procedure. . and taxation. 4 . we usually measure following this sequence: . In the real world. Trade.
the foot. some of the linear measurements of current usage in ancient Egypt (the span. and our calendar is derived from the original 365 days Egyptian calendar. and in some countries we still use.Introduction among others.clearly . The way we measure time is based on the sexagesimal system developed in Mesopotamia. however. the pace. there is no doubt that they existed in the Mesopotamian civilizations and . when coins began to be used as elements of trade. Also in Egypt. We know little of what was done in the Far East. they were simply pieces of gold or silver. Later on. the fathom. scales were used to weigh precious metals and gems. stamped with their weight. We know. the cubit). 5 . must have required very soon the uniformity of measurements. The appearance of weights and measures systems goes far back into time.it is obvious that the construction of pyramids in Egypt (3000 to 1800 BC) required elaborate systems of measurement. They gave birth to a monetary system that spread throughout the whole Mediterranean area.
the different measures in use had mutiplied uncontrollably.the decimal metric system. For many centuries. which first came in use during the French Revolution. By the beginning of the second millennium AD. It owes its name to the use of the decimal system for multiples and sub-multiples and to its 6 . for instance. England used Anglo-Saxon measures and gradually tried to improve and simplify its system. France created and developed a simple and logical system. the pound-foot-second system was the preferred system in English-speaking countries as well as worldwide for some commercial and technical uses. to date it has not been totally discarded and is still used for many activities in many countries.Metrology for non-metrologists Roman conquest of a large part of the European continent contributed to disseminate the systems of weights and measures. wheat or barley. There were. be it wine or beer. Measures could also vary from province to province or from town to town. based on the most advanced scientific principles known at the time (the end of the eighteenth century) . different measures for capacity according to the product.
the metre was defined as one ten-millionth of the length of a quadrant of the earth’s meridian (i. more and more countries are adopting the International System of Units (SI) based on the decimal metric sys7 . are a guarantee of compatibility and quality. meaning measure. which is itself derived from the Greek metron. mètre in French. In consonance with the global approach. Metrologists are very active and there are constantly important changes and improvements in all aspects of measurements. and the results of any calibration.e. Growing cooperation between metrologists from different countries is also helping to establish internationally accepted work procedures. The history. in Spain. vicissitudes. verification and test. in any laboratory or enterprise. development and application of this system are amply documented (1. In its first version.18). in France. one ten-millionth of an arc representing the distance between the Equator and the North Pole) and it was determined by measuring an arc of meridian between Dunkerque. and Barcelona. There are now uniform methods of measurement so we can all work on the basis of the same known quantity or unit.Introduction base unit: the metre.
International Committee on Weights and Measures) and to the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM .International Office of Weights and Measures). 8 . with the subsequent adoption of the corresponding standards and measurements techniques. the Comité International des Poids et Mesures (CIPM . The Convention gives authority to the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures (CGPM .Metrology for non-metrologists tem. and decisions pertaining to the organization and development of the BIPM.General Conference on Weights and Measures). validation of advances and results of new fundamental metrological determinations. France for: discussion and examination of agreements for the improvement and dissemination of the International System of Units (SI). CGPM is constituted by representatives of the member countries and it holds meetings every four years in Paris. Forty-eight countries have subscribed the Metre Convention. to act internationally in matters pertaining to metrology. that adopted the International System of Units (SI). scientific international resolutions.
the BIPM: establishes fundamental standards and scales for the main physical quantities. preserves international prototypes. carries out and coordinates determinations related to physical constants. coordinates comparisons with standards kept at the National Laboratories of Metrology. ensures coordination of the measurement techniques.Introduction In search of a world-wide unification of physical measurements. - 9 .
WHAT WE MEASURE AND HOW
The units of the International System of Units (SI) are established by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) with authority over the International Office of Weights and Measures BIPM, with headquarters in France. In what follows, the international definitions for the units are those published by BIPM, as of June 2002. CGPM decided to base the SI on seven well-defined units. These are known as base units and they are listed in Table 1. Originally, the base or fundamental units were so called because they were considered to be mutually independent and because, from them, all other units could be derived. The corresponding standards were material embodiments, kept in agreed locations, under strictly determined conditions. Thanks to scientific and technical advances, and the availability of more exact instruments, the base units, with the single exception of the kilogram, are now defined differently, based on physical experiments. It can be argued that in some cases base units are no longer mutually independent. For
Metrology for non-metrologists
TABLE 1 Base Units of the SI
Quantity Symbol Unit
length mass time electric current thermodynamic temperature amount of substance luminous intensity
m kg s A
metre kilogram second ampere
What we measure
instance, the metre is no longer defined against the former prototype metre - an iridium-platinum bar - and the current definition involves the concept of second, another base unit. Similarly, the candela, the base unit for luminous intensity, is defined in terms of the hertz (s-1) and the watt (m2.kg.s3), both derived units, and of the steradian, a supplementary non-dimensional unit. However, taken as the set of both base and derived units, the SI is considered to be a coherent system because: the base units are defined in terms of physical constants (Appendix 1), with the sole exception of the kilogram, defined in terms of a prototype, each quantity is expressed in terms of a single unit, obtained by multiplication or division of the base units and of the nondimensional derived units, multiples and sub-multiples are obtained by multiplication by an exact power of ten, derived units can be expressed strictly in terms of the base units, that is, they have no numerical factor other than the number 1.
of accepted use although they are not integrated into the SI. the dot and 14 . used to measure plane angles.Metrology for non-metrologists The work that is being done for the definition and the improvement of SI units always strives to have units consistent with those that already exist. etc.30. for instance. the base units give rise to a large number of other units. They are also called non-dimensional units. how to select and identify prefixes. use of singulars and plurals. in several countries of America.(16. decimal marker. Two derived units. They are the radian (rad). deserve special mention. spelling conventions. use of capitalization. The neper and the bel. and the steradian (sr). how to group digits of numerical values. are also non-dimensional units. As we mentioned before. The SI also has a set of rules and conventions that have to do with the use of mixed units. Appendix 2 lists some of those considered SI derived units. the use of multiples and sub-multiples. used to measure solid angles. known formerly as “supplementary” units. rounding out of numerical values.37) These rules are not yet uniformly applied.
until their use is no longer necessary and they are substituted by the approved units. In any case. in some cases their use is limited to specialized fields. of which we have already spoken. it is important to be aware of these rules and for more detailed information on the subject we recommend consulting some of the references (16. we have the set of standards that corresponds to the SI base units. we see we can describe it as a pyramid. 15 . There are other units. such as the dyne and the stokes. as for example the carat (ct) in jewelry. still in use in some countries and some contexts.37.46). outside the SI(40.40. The second position is taken up by the set of national standards. If we now look at the hierarchical structure of measurement standards. Some of those are accepted temporarily. At the top. They are sometimes called additional units and are listed in Table 2. There are also some units that do not belong to the SI but that are accepted for use with it.46).What we measure not the comma is used as the decimal sign or marker.
and the responsibility for dissemination of the SI units to accredited calibration laboratories in their respective countries. The chain of organizations in charge of the operation of the SI. calibrated using the national standards of the upper level. followed by the National Metrology Institutes. we find the reference standards that will be used to prepare the working standards to be used in turn for operational work. The calibration laboratories are in charge of verifying that measuring equipment as well as reference and working standards comply with the national standards. The set of operational standards (working standards) is the base of the pyramid. 16 . are in charge of evaluating conformity for the products that are to be certified. The testing and assay laboratories. they use reference standards.Metrology for non-metrologists At the next level. To do this. finally the working Laboratories. the Calibration Laboratories and. at the operational level. is headed by the BIPM. The national metrology institutes have custody of the national standards.
metric ton t 1 t = 103 kg a) The alternative symbol for the liter. b) Other additional units are: the electronvolt (eV). was adopted by the CGPM in order to avoid the risk of confusion between the letter l and the number 1. the unified atomic mass unit (u). and the astronomical unit (ua). L(a) Mass: ton.What we measure TABLE 2 Additional units accepted for use with the SI Name Symbol Expression in terms of SI units Time: minute hour day Plane angle: degree minute second Volume: liter min h d 1 min = 60 s 1 h = 60 min = 3600 s 1 d = 24 h = 86 400 s 1o = (π/180) rad 1’ = (1/60)o = (π/10 800) rad 1”= (1/60)’ = (π/648000) rad 1 L = 1 dm3 = 10-3 m3 o ’ ” l. “L”. The script letter is not approved for the liter. 17 .
a measuring system. to be related to established references. the relation between the values shown by a measuring instrument.Metrology for non-metrologists Finally. through a continuous chain of comparisons. we find those organizations and entities working with operational or working standards. under specified conditions. all of them with known uncertainties. An important concept in metrology is that of traceability. The possibility of determining traceability in any measurement relies on the concept and the actions of calibration and on the hierarchical structure of the standards we have already mentioned. calibration is: a set of operations that establish. and that are normally calibrated against reference standards. which. For metrologists. in turn. The term is sometimes misapplied to a process of comparison or verification that is used to verify that between the values shown by a measuring instrument 18 . have been calibrated using national standards. and the corresponding values of the quantities established by the standards. normally national or international standards. the values represented by a materialized measure or by a reference material. It refers to the property of a measurement or of the value of a standard. used by industry and others.
to the interpretation itself of the data. On the other hand. to operator mistakes.What we measure or system and the known values of the measured quantity. to defects of construction or calibration of the instruments. Legal Metrology. Scientific metrology This is the set of actions taken to develop primary standards of measurement for the base units and the derived units of the International System of Units (SI). metrologists usually take into consideration the main causes of errors in measurements. a distinction is often made between the several fields of application of metrology. or simply to fortuitous factors. CHARACTERIZATION OF METROLOGY For convenience. the differences are below the maximum tolerance (2). and Industrial Metrology. into: Scientific Metrology. they may or may not be known and controllable and can be due to factors of the environment where the measurements are taken. 19 .
Metrology for non-metrologists
Legal metrology According to the International Organization for Legal Metrology (OIML) “legal metrology is the entirety of the legislative, administrative and technical procedures established by, or by reference to public authorities, and implemented on their behalf in order to specify and to ensure, in a regulatory or contractual manner, the appropriate quality and credibility of measurements related to official controls, trade, health, safety and the environment”. Industrial metrology The function of industrial metrology is mainly the proper calibration, control and maintenance of all measuring equipment used in production, inspection and testing. The purpose is to guarantee that the products will comply with quality standards. The equipment is controlled at set times and in such a way that the uncertainty of the measurements will be known. Calibration is done against certified equipment, with a known valid relation to standards such as, for instance, the national reference standards.
What we measure
To understand each other, metrologists use an internationally approved vocabulary, the International Metrology Vocabulary (VIM)(54); some of the most common definitions follow: Quantity (measurable) attribute of a phenomenon, body or substance that may be distinguished qualitatively and determined quantitatively. Base quantity one of the quantities that, in a system of quantities, are conventionally accepted as functionally independent of one another. Derived quantity quantity defined, in a system of quantities, as a function of base quantities of that system. Dimension of a quantity expression that represents a quantity of a system of quantities as the product of powers of factors that represent the base quantities of the system.
Metrology for non-metrologists
Quantity of dimension one, dimensionless quantity quantity in the dimensional expression of which all exponents of the dimensions of the base quantities reduce to zero. Unit (of measurement) particular quantity, defined and adopted by convention, with which other quantities of the same kind are compared in order to express their magnitudes relative to that quantity. Base unit (of measurement) unit of measurement of a base quantity in a given system of quantities. Value (of a quantity) magnitude of a particular quantity, generally expressed as a unit of measurement multiplied by a number. Measurement set of operations having the object of determining a value of a quantity. Measurand particular quantity subject to measurement.
23 . that characterizes the dispersion of the values that could reasonably be attributed to the measurand. Uncertainty of measurement parameter. Material measure device intended to reproduce or supply. Reproducibility (of results of measurements) closeness of the agreement between the results of measurements of the same measurand carried out under changed conditions of measurement. in a permanent manner during its use. associated with the result of a measurement. one or more known values of a given quantity.What we measure Accuracy of measurement closeness of the agreement between the result of a measurement and a true value of the measurand. Repeatability (of results of measurements) Closeness of the agreement between the results of successive measurements of the same measurand carried out under the same conditions of measurement.
Secondary standard standard whose value is assigned by comparison with a primary standard of the same quantity. measuring instrument. generally having the highest metrological quality available at a given location or in a given organization. Reference standard standard. from which measurements made there are derived. etalon material measure. reference material or measuring system intended to define. Standards may be international (recognized through international agreement) or national (recognized by national agreement). 24 . Primary standard standard that is designated or widely acknowledged as having the highest metrological qualities and whose value is accepted without reference to other standards of the same quantity.Metrology for non-metrologists Measurement standard. realize. conserve or reproduce a unit or one or more values of a quantity to serve as a reference.
What we measure
Working standard standard that is used routinely to calibrate or check material measures, measuring instruments or reference materials. Transfer standard standard used as an intermediary to compare standards. Traceability property of the result of a measurement or the value of a standard whereby it can be related to stated references, usually national or international standards, through an unbroken chain of comparisons all having stated uncertainties. Reference material (RM) material or substance one or more of whose property values are sufficiently homogeneous and well established to be used for the calibration of an apparatus, the assessment of a measurement method, or for assigning values to materials. Certified reference material (CRM) Reference material, accompanied by a certificate, one or more of whose property values are certified by a procedure which establishes traceability to an
Metrology for non-metrologists
accurate realization of the unit in which the property values are expressed, and for which each certified value is accompanied by an uncertainty at a stated level of confidence.
Note: because not all countries use the same system to write numbers, it must be stated that in this document we use the comma as the decimal marker and an “x” for the multiplication sign. Thus, for instance, we shall write 6,023 x 1023 and not 6.023 x 1023. Most English-speaking countries use the period or full stop as the decimal marker.
A possible question is: what do we measure for? Without going into details and without any pretense at being exhaustive, let us look at some answers, restricted to main aspects. As can be expected, different applications require different actions which are done with different levels of reliability; in metrology this is known as “uncertainty”, an interval of confidence in the results of the measurements. Length Measurement of length, or the determination of distance, is used in dimensional measurements such as: areas, volumes, capacities, speed and velocity, roundness. Length is present in the definition of the radian and the steradian, the non-dimensional units used to measure angles. In general, we could say that it is used in any determination of the shape of an object. Many fields of human endeavor require dimensional measurements: geodesy, real estate and the property and use of land, construction and maintenance
The industries of apparel. highways.). automotive. Mass The need to know mass quantitatively is present in most human activities. 28 . laboratories (research and control). machine tools. all manufacturing industry. require parts that must fit properly into each other. science (even in theoretical occupations). It is probably in the manufacturing industry where the influence of good length measurements is more striking. hamburgers. etc. This explains the wide range of standards and instruments used to determine mass. as well as exact measures in the final consumer products. streets and avenues. trade (all transactions). The amounts to be determined can go from the mass of the electron to the mass of the universe. vehicles. sales (orders and shipments). home appliances. Without going into details we can mention: industry . storehouses. through that of mosquitoes.Metrology for non-metrologists of roads. etc. furniture. production (processes and control). scientific and medical instruments. human beings. building of dwellings. odometers to calculate charges for car rentals.administration (purchasing. accessories. many commercial aspects. electronic equipment and many more.
the use of diagnosis techniques. Our first contact with scientific measurement of temperature is usually the home thermometer. But correct temperature measurements are also required for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. measurement of body temperature in sick people. clinical analysis. directly or indirectly. Food preparation and the techniques for its conservation require temperature measurements. Temperature The sensation of heat or cold is a common one for living beings and the concept of temperature and its measurement are present in countless human activities. to mass. sterilization of clinical and hospital materials. 29 . sold or exchanged.Applications Normally. particularly. everything that is produced. with the importance it can have for the evolution of some ailments. is related. We thus think immediately of medical applications and. which is why we can say that application of metrology in its mass aspect is omnipresent at all levels in everyday life.
Dyeing of fabrics.).Metrology for non-metrologists these can be empirical for home use but industry demands accuracy in its measurements. that rely on exact measurements of time. trains and airplanes being on time. control of time for telecommunication charges. manufacture of all types of ceramics. air conditioning. 30 . Other applications include the use of taximeters (based on time only. or on a combination of time and distance). generation of energy. buses. and many more human activities. require correct determinations of temperature. speedometers. control of working hours for payment of salaries. paints and enamel for home appliances and for vehicles. timekeepers. There are also many industrial processes. Time Measurement of time is useful not only to make sure we are punctual or to determine the winner in a race! There are obvious applications in daily life (getting up at a certain time. refrigerated transport. etc. many medical techniques.
With incandescent bulbs. we can speak of watches and chronometers (either of type I with digital electronic circuits. properly offered and used. launching and coupling of spacecraft. or the timers of home appliances such as washing machines. microwave ovens. electric motors were built and these contributed to industry. To try to enumerate all current applications of electricity. automatic car washers. etc. or of type II with analog mechanisms or synchronous motors) as well as other timepieces such as those used in vehicle parking meters. dryers. would mean listing all of mankind’s activities for which electricity 31 . Electricity and magnetism The last two centuries have given birth to countless advances toward our current modern development. In general terms. demand exact measurements of time. transport and all activities that require some type of movement. artificial light radically changed all of man’s nocturnal activities.Applications Synchronization of activities such as those on the stock exchange and the military.
Photometry and radiometry Man has developed many apparatus and devices that allow him to see no matter what the natural conditions are and. what is more. many problems of reliability come up. is really the reliability in the handling and use of this resource. But. that can give him light intensities that would be difficult to find in na32 . Electricity is fundamental for communications. Also.e. During design. all of electronics demands reliable (exact. radio. measured). to the layman) measurements. and this reliability and reproducibility are due in great part to the advances in metrology. and the ability to rely on systems that can ensure the proper behavior of equipment. be it telephones. rather than the availability itself of such a resource. plan and implement complex projects. within set limits. satellite operation. television. what metrology guarantees with its standards and its procedures for electricity and magnetism. is what makes it possible to design. a control that demands reliable apparatus and systems with a known accuracy.Metrology for non-metrologists has to be controlled (i.
the techniques for physical and chemical analysis are very often based on extremely exact measurements of light or radiation. radio. black body photometers. all these applications need reliable measurements. All these apparatus demand reliable measurement techniques to ensure that the intensity required is effectively being obtained. certain wavelengths of radiation are used for their germicidal properties while others are used for plant growth.Applications ture. Photodynamic therapies are currently being used for some ailments. photoelectric instruments. ultraviolet light is used industrially. based on accepted standards. spectrophotometers and radiation measurement apparatus rely for their accuracy on careful calibrations. But. Absorption photometers.. even more important. Acoustics and vibration Exact acoustic measurements are crucial for applications such as the design of theaters and auditoria. etc. telecommunications. the manufacture of musical instruments and of sound reproduction and transmission devices (including pho33 .
the elimination of bothersome or dangerous sounds (in offices.Metrology for non-metrologists nographs. seismographs. food processing (cooking. sonar. the design of warning systems such as ambulance and firemen sirens and certain industrial indicators. drying. microphones. polymerization (polystyrene. chemical synthesis (such as that for ethyl bromide). production areas. and the use of radioactive isotopes for radiotherapy and as tracers in medical and biochemical research. under the form of X rays for diagnosis. in industrial applications such as welding. land and air transport). textile finishes for permanent press fabrics and garments. preservation and sterilization of foods. amplifiers). pasteurization. Among industrial applications. rubber vulcanization. control of germination and of 34 . etc. polyethylene). petroleum exploration. polymerization of methylmetacrylate.). we can mention the activation of vitamins. Ionizing radiation Medical applications of ionizing radiation are possibly the better known. echocardiograms and ultrasound in chemistry and in medicine for diagnosis and treatment.
35 . some. the use of standards and reference materials is the basis for successful production and the guarantee of quality. “curing” or solidification of finishes in paints and inks.Applications insect infestations in stored grains. As a simple example. Chemistry In scientific and technical activities it is always of importance to be able to know on which basis to calculate which and how much of several substances should be used. metallurgy. the production and marketing of pharmaceuticals is a huge field for the application of metrology. because they handle very large volumes and small variations can imply losses of tons. others. because they use very small amounts and minimal variations can be crucial. but this can also be said of all types of industrial processes. thickness measurements. An obvious case is that of the laboratory. electric power generation. That is to say. clinical or industrial. archeology (C14). geochemistry.
whether operational or national metrology laboratories. primary standards. National and secondary laboratories should apply the 1993 ISO “Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement”(28). it should be noted that there are two schools among metrologists(2). in accordance with the following scheme: general considerations of what we measure. we must remember that uncertainty is simply an interval of confidence in the results of the measurement. 37 . One of them looks at uncertainty as an element to denote uniformity of the results in repeated measurements. and measuring instruments. accuracy and uncertainty. In both cases. On the subject of uncertainty.STANDARDS AND REFERENCE MATERIALS INTRODUCTION Standards and reference materials are the subjects to be treated in the next sections. Both points of view are valid considering the field of application. The other school uses the term to mean that we are determining differences among the results. the definition of the measurement unit.
One of the aspects studied was the determination of which areas should be the subject of regional and of national actions. time and frequency. ionizing radiation. is striving to obtain the highest possible integration and coherence in metrology aspects among its members. In 1999. temperature. photometry and radiometry. electricity and magnetism. 38 . SIM authorities did a strategic planning exercise. through the work it is doing.Metrology for non-metrologists In the Western Hemisphere. mass. acoustics and vibration. and chemistry. These areas turned out to be: length. the Inter-American System of Metrology. SIM.
There are estimates that around 80% of the measurements done in industry have to do with displacements and thus with length. the metre was defined as one ten-millionth of the length of a quadrant of the earth’s 39 .25mm was considered proper for length measurements. what we really measure is the distance or separation between two points and. given that the current definition of standards is nowadays oriented to the use of physical constants. In the year 1800. In practice. we must be conscious that length implies distance. today(18) we speak of required intervals that range from the field of nanotechnology up to that of geophysics. International definition of the unit for measurement of length History Originally.Standards and reference materials LENGTH What do we measure We all know intuitively what length is. an accuracy of 0.
Metrology for non-metrologists meridian (i. cities both at sea level. and Barcelona. The first physical embodiment of the metre. and they were used until 1960. a copy of this prototype became. In 1983. as well as its copies. 40 . one ten-millionth of an arc representing the distance between the Equator and the North Pole) and it was determined by measuring an arc of meridian between Dunkerque. the 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures modified it to the current definition which is related to the speed of light in vacuum (299 792 458 metres per second). in 1889. Definition The metre (symbol m) is the length of the path traveled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second. an iridium-platinum bar which is still kept in Paris. the so-called mètre des Archives. with the approval of the “Convention of the Metre” in 1875. This prototype metre. Later.e. was built in 1799 on this basis. in Spain. the international prototype of the metre. when the definition was replaced by one based on the wavelength of a given orangered line of the spectrum of the isotope krypton-86. was considered stable and precise. in France.
interferometric methods are used. wavelengths of 3 392. wavelengths of 514.5 x 10-10. with an helium-neon laser. it is necessary to transfer from a standard expressed in terms of the velocity of light. The reference used is the wavelength of the radiation produced by a laser. stabilized in a iodine chamber.673 466 4 nm. to a physical device or standard. stabilized either in frequency or in wave-length(43).231 397 327 nm can be measured with a relative uncertainty of 3 x 10-12. and with these it has been possible for BIPM to compare and calibrate in situ in a region without 41 . with an argon laser. For instance(43). stabilized in a methane chamber. The method consists of a comparison between the length to be measured and the wavelength λ of a luminous radiation whose frequency f has been previously determined with great accuracy. There are currently portable models of stabilized lasers.Standards and reference materials Standards For the measurements of length to be practical. For measurements of the order of the metre. can be measured with a relative uncertainty of the order of 2.
The gauge blocks. may themselves constitute the physical embodiment of the standard.Metrology for non-metrologists the requirement of several national metrology laboratories having to take their apparatus to Paris for calibration(19). and they may include measuring tapes. and. metallic or ceramic blocks. whether for calibration or operational work. and that can be combined in the required number to obtain the desired length. By following the chain we have already seen. calibration standards as well as testing and operational standards can be derived from these national standards. the countries can have their own national standards. rulers and all other devices used in everyday life to measure length. through mechanical comparison. whose edges have a very high-quality parallelism. secondary standards may be derived from them. In addition to the methods based on light sources. standard gauge blocks are also used. 42 . These are highly polished. with an accuracy according to their intended use. Thanks to these laser-based calibrations. calibrated by interferometry.
Accuracy tolerances are established in accordance with the type of instrument and its intended use. optical or electronic methods. roughness testers. thickness. These instruments may be based on mechanical. gauge blocks. calipers and dividers (highprecision. for nuts and screws. rigid or folding). tape rulers (of metal. diameter. verniers. etc. metal. interior and exterior diameter tapes. We thus find. pneumatic. height.Standards and reference materials Uncertainties As mentioned before. width. Measuring instruments Length. depth and angle gauges. among others: rulers (wood. protractors. all these are linear measurements and many instruments and devices have been developed so they can be measured simply and with the required accuracy. micrometers. for gears). plastic or fabric). 43 . roundness or surface gauges. fiberglass or plastic. stabilized laser standards can offer relative uncertainties for the measurement of length of the order of 10-9 and of 10-12.
Metrology for non-metrologists 44 .
45 . In both cases. there is no friction whatsoever between the surface and the object. the object falls down. If the object is at rest and we want it to move. by the measure of its fall. and in the second. under the same conditions. attracted by planet Earth. if we remove the plane surface. Let us suppose an imaginary vacuum tunnel. In the same tunnel. if we place an object on this surface. and this is another manifestation of its mass. by the measure of the effort to move the object. we would have the measure of the mass of the object: in the first. where we have a perfectly lubricated plane surface so that. the effort required to move it is an indication of the mass of the object.Standards and reference materials MASS What do we measure The mass of a body can manifest itself in two ways: one is by a change in its state of motion (inertia) and the other by its attraction to other bodies.
Metrology for non-metrologists In other words. the kilogram. was originally defined as the mass of one liter of water at a temperature of 4o C. This has been studied by metrologists but. based on the agreements at the 1st and 3rd General Conferences on Weights 46 . it was agreed to continue considering the kilogram as the mass unit. it has not yet been possible to define the mass unit in terms of universal physical constants. With present knowledge. This definition was later modified in view of the practical difficulties of obtaining pure water. mass is the quantity of matter contained in a given body while weight is the result of the attraction of planet Earth on that body. for practical reasons. and because the definition involved another quantity: temperature. thus. It could be argued that the kilogram is really a multiple of the gram and that it is the gram that should be the unit. International definition of the unit for measurement of mass History The mass unit.
manufactured at the 47 . made from an alloy of ninety percent platinum and ten percent iridium. It is considered the sole primary standard for the kilogram. It has an approximate density of twenty-one and one half grams per cubic centimetre. thirty-nine millimetres high and thirty-nine millimetres wide. “recommends that national laboratories continue their efforts to refine experiments that link the unit of mass to fundamental or atomic constants with a view to a future re-definition of the kilogram”. it is currently still defined in terms of a device or prototype. However. it is equal to the mass of the international prototype of the kilogram. Definition The kilogram (symbol kg) is the unit of mass.Standards and reference materials and Measures in 1889 and in 1901 respectively. the 21st General Conference on Weights and Measure. in October 1999(13). Standards The international prototype is a cylinder. The original prototype kilogramme des Archives.
From a single smelt. Because the definition and construction of the unit are based on an artifact. in 1889. and national prototypes (originally 40 of them to fill the needs of the countries then signatories of the Convention of the Metre). and those subsequently manufactured by BIPM. where “x” is the identification number of one of these standards. a hierarchy of the mass standards has been set up. are sometimes known as “Nox kilogram”.Metrology for non-metrologists same time as the mètre des Archives. with the following obligatory characteristics: 48 . Taking into account the limitations of the comparisons. were prepared: the international kilogram. These. four witnesses. the unit can never be transferred more accurately than allowed by mass comparison with the international mass prototype. is considered to be the historical prototype.
5 g cm-3 PRIMARY STANDARDS OF THE BIPM Material: Platinum-Iridium. PRIMARY NATIONAL STANDARDS Material: Steel (Brass) Density: 8. NATIONAL PROTOTYPE KILOGRAM Material: Platinum-Iridium.0 g cm-3 (8. Density: 21.Standards and reference materials INTERNATIONAL PROTOTYPE KILOGRAM Material: Platinum-Iridium.4 g cm-3) SECONDARY NATIONAL STANDARDS Material: Steel (Brass) REFERENCE STANDARDS WORKING STANDARDS 49 .
= mass of the 200 grams (NO 2) standard. can be determined as: m 100 + m200 + m200 + m500 where: m100 m200 m200 m500 = mass of the 100 grams standard. To do so.Metrology for non-metrologists Accuracy With the current kilogram standard it is possible to measure mass with an accuracy of 1 in 108. = mass of the 200 grams (N O 1) standard. = mass of the 500 grams standard. a one kilogram mass. this requires multiples and sub-multiples of the kilogram so that masses can be exactly determined. thus. The sets of multiples and sub-multiples of the kilogram must also be represented in the form of mass standards and compared with one or more kilogram standards. The purpose of standards is to be able to measure exactly the mass of bodies. multiples and sub-multiples are grouped in decades related to at least 4 standards. m1kg. 50 . the most common representation is 1 2 2 5.
Measuring instruments The beam balance is the oldest known instrument to have been used to measure mass. fine accuracy to class Fi .Standards and reference materials Clearly. Quality of measurement will be characterized by its uncertainty. High accuracy masses correspond to class Ei . an analytical laboratory balance requires a different degree of accuracy than a truck weight controller scale. OIML Recommendation R111(41) gives the different tolerance levels for accuracy of different standards masses for classes Ei . and medium accuracy to class M i . Fi . 51 . When studying the accuracy of m1kg. Mi with values going usually from one milligram to 50 kilograms. F or M classes. Fi y Mi. the first composition to estimate variability would be: m1kg . Accuracy of mass standards can be categorized as Ei .(m100 + m200 + m200 +m500 ) = x where m1kg is the one kilogram mass standard and the value of x can belong to any of the E. As long as the definition of the kilogram remains unchanged.
In view of all possible combinations. be that in laboratories. a balance and a scale. platform-scales. The mass comparator for a national standard must have a limited interval and good sensitivity (for instance. deflection balances. government agencies. roman scales. With contemporary techniques it is possible to build countless numbers and capacities of instruments. combination balances. sensitive and subject to calibration. today we also use electromechanical scales which send electrical signals to determine weight. industries. we nowadays speak of weighing instruments. adequate for their intended use. for instance. 1 microgram). commerce. with equal or unequal arms. never measure it directly. exact. etc. without making distinctions between.Metrology for non-metrologists we can only compare mass. 52 . spring balances and automatic balances with multiple equilibrium positions. In the past. we spoke of simple balances. High accuracy metrology uses mass comparators. Basic requirements for balances are that they be stable. crane scales. with or without gliding weights.
As early as 1742. based on water. with zero at the freezing point and a value of 100 at the boiling point. For this reason.Standards and reference materials TEMPERATURE What do we measure In the case of measurements of what we call temperature. We can define heat as a form of energy associated with and proportional to the molecular motion. BIPM(19) has compiled the history of the unit. starting from the normal scale of hydrogen of 1878 up 53 . Anders Celsius proposed a centigrade scale of temperature. What we know as temperature is really the value of a reading on a measuring device such as a thermometer. we say that temperature is a manifestation of heat. International definition of the unit for measurement of temperature History The definition of the measurement unit for temperature has a long and complex history. But heat is not the same as temperature. what we are looking for is an indicator of the heat of a given body.
unit of thermodynamic temperature. of defining the unit for thermodynamic temperature (presently named after him) in terms of the interval between absolute zero and a single fixed point.water in this case . The current definition was approved by the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures.Metrology for non-metrologists to the current international temperature scale (ITS90 or EIT-90) of 1990. in 1967. It is however interesting to note that a whole century went by until. it is common to find references to the thermodynamic tempera- 54 . in 1954. is the fraction 1/273. the 10th CGPM (General Conference on Weights and Measures) adopted the proposal made in 1854 by William Thomson Kelvin.16 of the thermodynamic temperature of the triple point of water. When speaking of temperature scales.in its three states: solid. The triple point of water is the point where it is possible to have equilibrium or coexistence of the substance . Definition The kelvin (symbol K). liquid and gaseous.
Under zero of this scale. at normal atmospheric pressure. equivalent to 0.01 oC. and has its zero at what is called absolute zero. and those higher than 0 oC in Celsius degrees.15 K while the triple point of water occurs at 273. is the most commonly used. occurs really at 273. 55 . to which the international definition refers. and. On the other hand. known before as centigrade.16 oC. Experts in thermometry usually express temperatures below 0 oC in kelvin. Its zero is the freezing point of water. also. The practical scale or Celsius scale. this scale has no negative values and its intervals are the same as those of the Celsius scale. to the practical scale of temperature. They also insist on the fact that the freezing point of water.16 K. Thus.Standards and reference materials ture. the thermodynamic temperature scale is expressed in kelvin by definition. temperature may go down to minus forty degrees (Celsius degrees). both measured under specified conditions. 0 oC. and the boiling point is defined as 100 oC. which is why we commonly say that in a harsh winter. temperatures have a negative value. equivalent to -273.
the substance is in a state that corresponds to a given temperature which.Metrology for non-metrologists Standards The standard for the temperature unit is the physical embodiment of the international temperature scale ITS-90. in turn. There are many fixed points of definition for the ITS-90 scale. Its purpose is to specify procedures and practical thermometers. represents a fixed definition point.65K. This direct realization is done by means of a series of sealed cells that contain a pure substance. internationally approved. 56 . The fixed definition points were originally selected so that they would correspond as closely as possible to the thermodynamic scale. Some are shown in Table 3. In October 1999(13). the 21st General Conference on Weights and Measures. that allow national laboratories to do direct realizations of the scale and to determine highly reproducible values. The data is compiled in the legal document known as ITS-90. invited the International Committee to work towards extending the ITS-90 below its present lower limit of 0.
928 419.189.15 He .Water Triple point Ga .62 Ar .677 933.748 5 505.16 302.315 6 273.Argon Saturated vapor pressure Triple point Hg .93 1 337.598 5 231.Zinc Solidification point Solidification point Solidification point Al .Indium Sn .270.Aluminium Solidification point Ag .Helium 83.Gold Solidification point Solidification point Cu .33 1 357.527 660.18 1 084.Silver Au .Gallium Melting point In .805 8 234.Tin Zn .473 1 234.01 29.Mercury Triple point H2O .764 6 156.77 .Copper Solidification point 57 .268.15 to .834 4 0.38.078 692.78 1 064.323 961.Standards and reference materials TABLE 3 Some fixed points of definition for the ITS-90 scale Temperature T90/K t90/oC Substance State from 3 to 5 from .344 2 .914 6 429.
They are normally used for temperatures between 38 oC and 1 780 oC. lacquers. resistive devices and thermistors. and all of them infer temperature through some change in a physical characteristic (42). liquid crystals. grains and cones. pyrometers. there are several types of sensors to measure temperature. The change due to the temperature is permanent 58 . bimetallic devices. around 1593. pellets and crayons.Metrology for non-metrologists Uncertainties With the sealed cells it is possible to calibrate temperature measurement devices with a relative uncertainty of the order of 10-6. liquid-expansion devices. that change their appearance when a given temperature is reached. The change-of-state devices are indicating labels. Today. Measuring instruments The first thermometer of which we have any reference was built by the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei. optical and infrared radiators. thermocouples. The artifacts most commonly in use are: changeof-state devices.
and their price is relatively low. They can be used repeatedly. These thermometers can use mercury or an organic liquid such as alcohol. and some use a gas.270 oC and 2 300 oC. the resistance increases with a temperature increase. joined at one end. on the contrary. with thermistors. They can work by partial. Resistive devices (also known as RTDs) are based on the principle that a change in temperature brings about a change in the electrical resistance. but the data they give cannot be directly recorded or transmitted. made of different metals. reliable. Their measurement interval depends on the metals used and usually is between . When using metals. Thermocouples are built from two pieces. their response time is relatively slow and their accuracy is not very high. the electrical resistance of the ceramic semicon59 . robust. and with a voltmeter. total or complete immersion.Standards and reference materials so that they cannot be used over again. The home thermometer is the best known representative of the fluid-expansion devices. but they are useful for industrial applications such as soldering or in ceramic ovens. they do not require a source of energy. they are accurate.
upon being heated. because they work based on the flow of current through a sensor. They have the advantage of being portable and of not requiring a source of energy. one piece will expand more than the other when exposed to the same change of temperature. Infrared pyrometers or sensors measure the amount of radiation emitted by a surface. Optical pyrometers or sensors rely on the fact that light emitted by a hot body is related to its temperature. and the generated motion is transmitted to an indicator on a temperature scale. They are more expensive but both have the advantage of not having to be in direct contact with the surface whose temperature is to be measured. they work between 700 oC and 4 200 oC. Two pieces of different metals are joined together. These are stable devices but they have a drawback. Bimetallic devices are based on the different thermal expansion of different metals. they are appropriate for temperatures around 3 000 oC.Metrology for non-metrologists ductor diminishes with an increase of temperature. 60 . RTDs work at temperatures between -250 oC and 850 oC.40 oC and 150 oC. thermistors between . a certain amount of heat is generated and can influence their accuracy.
above 100 oC. For instance. between 0 oC and 100 oC. 61 . the constant volume gas thermometers. its intended use. the required accuracy changes to 5 oC (6). the radiation thermometers. CVGT. an accuracy of 1 oC is considered necessary.Standards and reference materials Other temperature measurement devices used in metrology are the standard platinum resistance thermometer. SPRT. and the temperature interval of its readings. in industry.(55) Specifications and tolerances are set in accordance with the type of temperature measurement artifact.
Metrology for non-metrologists 62 .
with the visible movements of the stars. if two events do not occur simultaneously in a given space. For primitive man. time is a concept related to the order and duration of events. the first intimation of the flow of time must have been the daily cycle of day and night. One of the first artifacts must have been the sun-dial.Standards and reference materials TIME AND FREQUENCY What do we measure The concept of time has always drawn the interest of philosophers and physicists. more recently. tried to define time(44) and. among many others. based on the observation that the length of shade changes during the 63 . We may reasonably suppose that longer durations were later conceived through observation of lunar phases and of the seasons. History Time intervals were initially measured based on the position of celestial bodies. Aristotle and Newton. Hawking(17) speaks of real time and imaginary time. they occur in a given order and with an interval between them(9). For practical purposes.
It is believed to date as far back as 579 BC and is attributed to Anaximander or to Thales of Miletus. The first clock moved exclusively by weights. Mechanical clocks are believed to have their origin in China. or during sunless days. that projects its shade on a quadrant. for which we have a description. and were nothing more than knotted ropes. This instrument was used by Assyrians. in closed rooms. parallel to the axis of the Earth. Later on.Metrology for non-metrologists day. but whose best representative is the clepsydra. marked candles or a certain amount of oil. there were water clocks of which a very ancient model is known. it consists of a rod (called style or gnomon). The clepsydra in turn originated the well-known and distinctive sand glass or hourglass. 64 . and its use continued well into the Renaissance. Fire clocks were used to measure time during the night. was built in 1364 by Henri de Vick. Greeks and Romans. perfected in Greece. and the better models used different diameters at different levels. they came to Europe around the thirteenth century. It is based on the assumed regularity of the flow of water through an orifice. built in China. Egyptians. a German watchmaker. with a float.
Peter Henlein.particularly in me65 . they were originally called digital watches althought there are also analog models.Standards and reference materials for King Charles V of France. very accurate quartz watches are being manufactured.D. Johnson built the chronometer. the mechanisms were mostly spring and balance. In 1855. but the widespread use of watches really came about when battery-operated watches became available on the market. A Nuremberg locksmith. In the twentieth century. carillons or “cuckoo”. The high degree of accuracy for time measurements which can be obtained today is possible with atomic clocks. Already in 1780. electric watches and alarm clocks became very common. Clocks often had additional sound systems of bells. E. in 1657. Presently. All of these gave rise to an important industry and real works of art. used in science . We owe the pendulum clock to Huygens. Louis Recordon had invented the automatic chain for pocket watches but it was not until 1924 when John Harwood used it in wristwatches. he also developed the mechanisms that would make pocket watches possible. created the spiral or royal spring and by the seventeenth century.
the definition referred to what we might call the astronomical second. where 9 192 631 770 is the frequency of the energy involved in said caesium transition. 66 . the hyperfine levels represent the smallest energy increase that they can undergo in that state (6).Metrology for non-metrologists trology. the ground state is considered to be the state where electrons are at their lowest energy level. nowadays we refer to the atomic second. International definition of the units for measurement of time [13th General Conference on Weights and Measures. They are stable because the frequencies produced are only very slightly influenced by external factors such as temperature. (symbol s). is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom. pressure or humidity. 1967]. and of frequency Formerly. The second.
Other standards use other sources of frequencies. emit monochromatic radiations and can thus generate a period (the duration of an oscillation) which can be defined very accurately. In some cases. It is based on the fact that atoms. The hertz (symbol Hz) is the frequency of a periodic phenomenon. 67 . such as the hydrogen maser.Standards and reference materials The derived unit for frequency is the hertz. the month and the year. The hour (symbol h) and the minute (symbol min). under diverse excitements. rubidium standards. it is also necessary to refer to larger time intervals such as the week. Standards Practical realization of the definition of the second is done using a caesium atomic clock. their use is so widespread that they are considered units accepted for use with the SI (see Table 3). are not decimal multiples of the second and thus are not SI units. However. the period of which is one second.
68 . This demands permanent maintenance of the same continuous temporal reference as an element in the practical realization of the standard. They are sufficiently accurate for most applications. air transportation timetables are a good example of the importance of this synchronization. and they are considered secondary standards.Metrology for non-metrologists commercial caesium standards. It is not sufficient to be able to measure time intervals accurately. there must also be a world-wide scale for comparisons and precise relations. etc.
The caesium clock uses a very precise quartz oscillator whose frequency is verified by generation of an electromagnetic radiation which illuminates a cloud of caesium atoms.Standards and reference materials Atomic caesium clock(43) Internal energy of an atom (electrons+nucleus) assumes values which correspond to the diverse quantum states ot the atom. with slight sensitivity to external perturbations).ν = | EB . 69 . but also due to technical reasons (among others.EA | where h is Planck’s constant. with emission or absorption of radiation. the number of polarized atoms diminishes and this generates a signal for correction to keep the oscillator’s frequency at its nominal value. the caesium atoms become polarized and can be detected by a magnetic field. The atom has the possibility of carrying out a transition between one level of energy EA and another level of energy E B. If the radiation frequency is precisely 9 192 631 770 cycles per second. Frequency ν of the radiation is determined by the relationship: h. The transition adopted to define the second was selected not only because of its own properties (monochromatism of the radiation which implies a well-defined frequency. If the frequency deviates slightly. the transition frequency is in a domain of frequencies accessible to current electronic instruments. ease of use of caesium to obtain an atomic beam and for detection of ionization).
except that.Metrology for non-metrologists Time scales (19) The International Atomic Time (TAI) scale. 70 . keep in step with the slightly irregular rotation of the Earth. When fractions of a second are not important. the well-known “Greenwich Meridian Time or Greenwich Mean Time. Diffusion of the scale is done through several means and may require special reception instruments.9 second. it is recommended not to use the term GMT but instead to always use the term UTC. However. when averaged over a year. For public and practical purposes it is necessary to have a scale that does so in the long term. the Sun crosses the Greenwich meridian at noon UTC to within 0. therefore. is calculated at the BIPM. GMT” is practically equivalent to UTC. TAI is a uniform and stable scale which does not. To keep the scale unit of TAI as close as possible to the SI second. Such a scale is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). which is identical with TAI. BIPM uses data from those national laboratories which maintain the best primary caesium standards. from time to time. a leap second is added to ensure that. In 1999 it was obtained from data from some two hundred atomic clocks in nearly fifty national metrology laboratories.
Standards and reference materials It can de done by: telephone access to a time service. the most important characteristic of a UTC scale (generated at national laboratories) is its stability. in a million years of use. 71 . - Uncertainties Current time standards work with relative uncertainties of the order of 10-14 and. More than the accuracy. Global Positioning System. It has also been calculated that.) with accuracies of milliseconds. based on artificial satellites. 1350 KHz modulated frequency. in some cases. etc. with an accuracy of up to 50 ms. up to 10-15. that may not be constant. accuracies of 10 ns by reception of television signals using GPS. with an accuracy of 10 ms (36). coded hourly signals (for instance. 3 MHz to 30 MHz short wave. the atomic time scale TAI will differ from the ideal scale by less than a second.
watches and chronometers) with a greater or smaller accuracy according to the needs. Time interval counters and quartz oscillators are also used. calibrated with the UTC or TAI scales.Metrology for non-metrologists Measuring instruments Usual measurements of time are done with diverse types of timepieces (such as clocks. 72 . For their part. measurements of frequencies require very high accuracies in applications such as digital communication and global positioning systems (GPS).
Based on this law. a stable flow is produced in the direction of the field. In these materials.Standards and reference materials ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM What do we measure Some materials. It was decided to define it in terms of electric current. such as electrons in metals and ions in salt solutions. Ohm’s Law relates the three basic elements of electricity with the equation: E = IR where E is the electric potential. such a flow is an electric current. I is the electric current. commonly called voltage. 73 . known as conductors. and R is the resistance. in the presence of an electric field. leaving electric potential and resistance as derived units. have free electric charges that can move. the electricity unit could have been defined through any one of these three elements.
the water pressure would be equivalent to the electric potential. and the properties of the pipe itself. it is constant and produced in packets. suspended in a non-conductor material. The smallest isolated charge is that of the electron. expressed in volts (V). and the friction due to the pipe material would be equivalent to the electric resistance in ohms (Ω). the amount of water would be the electric current expressed in amperes (A). If we have a pipe carrying water. the pressure at which it flows. If the spheres are of different materials. such as one of amber and the other of glass. we can characterize it by the amount of water that flows through the pipe.Metrology for non-metrologists Electric current is a property of matter that produces electric and magnetic effects. In an isolated system. of amber for instance. We can visualize the behavior of electricity and the interdependence of its characteristics through the following similarity. A simple manifestation of electric current is obtained by rubbing with a silk cloth two spheres. the spheres repel each other because they have the same electric charge. they attract one another because they have different charges(1). In electricity. 74 .
The poet Lucretius described 2 100 year ago the magnet stone found in the region of Magnesia. Some 250 years later. the first machine to produce electricity through friction was built 63 years later. Aristotle commented on the (electric) discharges produced by a fish .Standards and reference materials History Nearly 2 600 years ago.a variety of eel. Thales of Miletus noted that when amber was rubbed with wool or leather. In 1 600. William Gilbert made a clear distinction between electric and magnetic phenomena. Appendix 4 lists some of the scientists who have contributed to the development of knowledge on electricity. 75 . and closely related to quantum mechanics. it attracted small pieces of hay or feathers. the phenomenon is well known although complex. Nowadays.
and placed one metre apart in vacuum. The main derived units are the volt and the ohm. if maintained in two straight parallel conductors of infinite length.Metrology for non-metrologists International definition of the units for measurement of electricity and magnetism [9th General Conference on Weights and Measures. 76 . when the power dissipated between these points is equal to one watt. 1948] The ampere (symbol A) is that constant current which. of negligible circular cross-section. The volt (symbol V) is the potential difference between two points of a conducting wire carrying a constant current of one ampere. would produce between these conductors a force equal to 2 x 10-7 newtons per metre of length.
Practical realization of the unit is done with a system that is itself a standard. The Josephson effect is used for the reference unit of the volt and the Hall effect for the resistance. applied to these points. Standards The principles and devices used in a standard reflect scientific development and the technical facilities available. 77 . Formerly. Presently. and Ohm’s Law. but they had a high uncertainty. better results are obtained using the ohm and the quantized volt. produces in the conductor a current of one ampere. electric current balances were used for the ampere.Standards and reference materials The ohm (symbol Ω) is the electric resistance between two points of a conductor when a constant potential difference of one volt. the conductor not being the seat of any electromotive force. The work carried out in the realization procedure is complex and requires specialized apparatus and instruments as well as highly qualified personnel.
use of computers facilitates. voltmeters and resistance meters. making this high technology work even if the results are in popular use in apparatus such as ampere meters.standards and reference systems . Measurement work uses extensively digital processing and knowledge of quantum mechanics.and those for practical applications. The high reliability in the transportation of the Josephson and quantized Hall systems has given as a result that national laboratories can have internationally comparable standard systems. Measuring instruments With current technology it is possible to build analog and digital devices to measure electric current. 78 .Metrology for non-metrologists Uncertainty Measurement uncertainty of the electric potential (volt) in an array of Josephson junctions is of a few parts in 1010 and for the resistance standard with the Hall effect of a few parts in109. As in all scientific work. speeds up and gives higher certainty of results. We must also make a distinction between measurements of high resolution/low uncertainty .
electric and radio waves (hertzian). gamma rays. From the point of view of the spectrum visible to man. candles. emitted as photons. we are primarily interested in the phenomenon called light. torches. In the case of photometry. light for him has been mostly sunlight and its substitutes through the centuries: fire. vapor of mercury. electric lighting in the form of incandescent carbon filament. tungsten filament. History The study of light goes way back into history. Four centuries before Christ. ultraviolet rays. fluorescent. neon. one of the forms of radiant energy.Standards and reference materials LIGHT (PHOTOMETRY AND RADIOMETRY) What do we measure The different forms of radiant energy include cosmic rays. microwave. that is energy as electromagnetic waves. X rays. and all the lamps: oil. etc. kerosene. Euclides worked on his 79 . gas. infrared. and with a set frequency and wavelength. sodium. light visible to man.
in this case the energy characteristics of radiation . 80 . Michelson and many more have contributed to this field of study. Because human visual response varies with the wavelength. and the human eye does not perceive infrared and ultraviolet radiation. the International Commission on Light did a series of measurements in a large number of persons. work is done on measuring physical quantities . Kepler in 1611 with his Dioptrics. Thus. Galileus in 1610. For practical purposes. Huygens. although photometry and radiometry are two different fields.and this is the field of radiometry. Fresnel. Maxwell. photometry tries to express the visual impression of an “average observer”. for this reason. Different people have different visual perceptions. in order to be able to somehow define this “average observer”.Metrology for non-metrologists Optica. Descartes in 1637 when he discovered the law governing refraction. Other researchers have studied intensively this phenomenon: Ibn al-Haitham in the eleventh century. however the mechanism of vision was not identified until the beginning of the seventh century. they are very closely related. Newton in 1704 with his treaty on Opticks(53). Later on.
1921. it was based on burning elements and thus had a very low reproducibility. It was later modified (Carcel 1800. Due to the difficulties for realization of the photometric unit. 1909. in 1930. There were problems derived from the purity requirements of platinum and Blondel suggested in 1896 the use of a black body that would keep a constant high temperature. 1938 and 1954 when the candela was recognized as the sixth base unit. In 1880. the 81 . Hefner 1884) but working conditions still were a critical factor. Violle suggested using a piece of platinum at a temperature corresponding to the transition point between the solid and the liquid states. 1937. the kilogram.Standards and reference materials International definition of the unit for measurement of light History The unit and its standard have an uneven history(31). 1889. The candela was originally defined in the eighteenth century. Burgess placed the platinum in a thorium crucible inside an induction furnace. in 1884. the second. several congresses modified the Violle candle. after the metre. 1933.
The lumen (symbol lm) is the luminous flux emitted in a unit solid angle of one steradian by a uniform point source having a luminous intensity of one candela. International definition of the units of measurement in photometry and radiometry [16th General Conference on Weights Measures. in a given direction. The candela (symbol cd) is the luminous intensity.up to the current definition approved by the 16th General Conference on Weights and Measures. 82 . of a source that emits monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 x 1012 hertz and that has a radiant intensity in that direction of 1/683 watt per steradian. The following working units are derived from the candela. 1979].Metrology for non-metrologists ampere and the kelvin . in 1979.
m-2). the energy luminance or radiance (W. 83 .sr-1).W-1). In photometry. we use: luminous flux (lm).m-2).m-2. illuminance (lx).Standards and reference materials The lux (symbol lx) is the illuminance of a surface receiving a luminous flux of one lumen. the energy illuminance also known as irradiance or thermal flow density (W. luminous efficiency (lm. uniformly distributed over one square metre of the surface. luminous intensity (cd). The candela per square metre (symbol cd. luminance (cd. or heat flow rate. the units are: the energy flow rate. or power (W).m-2) is the luminance perpendicular to the plane surface of one square metre of a source of which the luminous intensity perpendicular to that surface is one candela.sr-1). the energy intensity or radiant intensity (W. In radiometry.
and radiation measurers. black body. The primary standard at the BIPM relies on a commercial cryogenic substitution electric radiometer. spectrophotometers. Measuring instruments In photometry and radiation. integrators. colorimeters. also. electric. and photoelectric photometers. cryogenic radiometers (detector-based radiometers) for standards. considered to be one of the most accurate radiometers available. polarization. Uncertainties The candela standard is realized with a relative uncertainty of 3 x 10-3. the following are used: radiometers. In addition. 84 . spectroradiometers. when the highest degree of accuracy is not required. Transfer to national or other standards is also done using lamps. but rather radiometry based on detectors. absorption. there are sets of silicon photodiodes that are used as working and transfer standards.Metrology for non-metrologists Standards Presently. maintenance of photometric and radiometric standards no longer emphasizes photometric methods. calibrated by comparison.
We consider a medium to be elastic if it can go back to its original shape and size once the alteration that provoked the tension. or of particle displacement or velocity.Standards and reference materials ACOUSTICS AND VIBRATION What do we measure With the exception of people deaf from birth. 85 . etc. such as a change of density. Based on this definition. we can in turn define a sound field as an elastic medium where a mechanical alteration. is produced and propagated.) Sound can be defined as a mechanical alteration. sounds are involved in communications with others and in the awareness of external circumstances either natural or man-made (music. has ceased. human beings intuitively perceive the concept of sound. or of particle displacement or velocity. in an elastic medium such as air or water. sound is an important part of the environment. For man. warning bells and sirens. For all animals. shear or compression. such as a change of density. the noise of machines working. particularly.
Recently. in 1999. we study and measure basic properties of sound: - intensity or loudness. Ultrasound and Vibration. when studies have been done on the nuisance and the hazards of noise on the human auditory system(29). the CIPM created a Consultative Committee on Acoustics. 86 .Metrology for non-metrologists In acoustics. determined by the additional vibrations (harmonic sounds) together with the fundamental vibration - - A normal human being cannot hear sounds of a frequency lower than 16 Hz (infrasounds) or higher than 20 kHz (ultrasounds or supersonics). determined by the wave amplitude pitch. Quantitative measurements of sound began in the nineteenth century. determined by the frequency or number of vibrations timbre. particularly its last 20-30 years. but it was really in the twentieth century.
human ear simulators.. In practice(29). methods to calculate loudness levels. characterization is done by its power. etc. sound level meters. the International Electrotechnical Commission. pascal. In the case of a source of sound. Pa. ISO. reference quantities for acoustic levels. For its part. to measure the strength of a sound field. that include aspects such as: standard tuning frequency. and an even larger number of standards in related fields.Standards and reference materials The International Standardization Organization. 87 . has been standardizing aspects related to microphones and their calibration. equivalent to newtons per square metre. sound intensity. N/m2). we use the sound pressure because it is the easiest to transform from a form of energy (particle alteration in the elastic medium) to another equivalent form that is the one usually measured (for example. has established several standards. etc. strictly in the field of acoustics. For metrological purposes. IEC. the most common measurements in acoustics are: the magnitude of a sound field and the strength of a sound source.
if 2000 µW “sound” a certain amount louder than 1000 µW. Sounds of an ordinary conversation are around 1 mW. sensibility to sound is different. while a 25 W bulb will give a very dim light. The ratios 2000/1000. 8000 µ W are necessary for the perception of the same increase starting from 4000 µW. Definition of the units for measurements in acoustics and vibration We are familiar with watts in terms of illumination we know that we can read comfortably when using a light bulb of 100 W. which we can express as 1000 microwatts (µW). Thus. The human ear perceives differences in intensity exponentially. In the case of light. but soft sounds fall to fractions of 1 mW. in turn. 8000/ 88 . this is an arithmetical relation. then we need 4000 µW instead of 3000 to perceive the same amount of increase and. 4000/2000. In comparison.Metrology for non-metrologists Both the sound pressure and the power of a source of sound are measured in relative decibels at 20 µPa and 1 pW respectively.
1 is nearly the logarithm base 10 of 1. the ratio is 10. This type of unit reflects the logarithmic way the ear works. Thus. in acoustics and electrotechnics. Similarly. we speak of the neper 89 . a sound will be one decibel stronger than another when it is 1. Because the bel turns out to be too large a unit for usual measurement needs. we say that the difference in sound intensity is one bel (so called after Alexander Graham Bell).26.26 times stronger.Standards and reference materials 4000. it is 2 bels stronger. whose logarithm is 1. it is 3 bels stronger. the pressure level or the power level. and it is by ratios that the ear judges. because 0. We use the name bel (symbol B) and its commonly used sub-multiple the decibel (symbol dB) when using logarithms of base ten. In this case. thought the differences between values are not. if a sound is 100 times stronger than another. we use the decibel. This non-dimensional derived unit “one” has been used to express logarithmic values such as the logarithmic decrease. if it is 1000 times stronger. are all equal. When a sound has 10 times the power of a second sound.
There is no practical way to obtain a reference source that would generate a sound pressure of one pascal. and work continues to find a way of generating or measuring a sound field in such a way it can be used as a reference standard. Standards The basic quantity for all measurements in acoustics is the sound pressure. accuracy of measurements relies on the use of accurately calibrated microphones. For measurement purposes. the vibration produces changes in 90 . Up to the present. Acceptance of these units is still under study by the CGPM. a diaphragm acts as one of the plates of the capacitor. using a condenser or electrostatic microphone. In this type of microphone.Metrology for non-metrologists (symbol Np) when using natural or neperian logarithms. the acoustic signal is converted to an electric signal.
in turn. produce changes in the output voltage.Standards and reference materials the capacitance and these. based on condensing microphones. both for laboratory and for field work. has a set of specifications for standard microphones. it is being refined through studies and world-wide intercomparisons. for many applications. Uncertainties The minimum sound pressure difference that the human ear can perceive is 1 dB (one decibel). such as those having to do with the determination of noise and. However.1 dB. that of aircraft. thus. Calibration is done using sound calibrators with a reference sound source. This technique was selected for its uncertainty level and has been internationally approved for the realization of the primary reference standard. particularly. pri- 91 . IEC. The International Electrotechnical Commission. certification requires measurements on the order of 0. The IEC has established specifications for calibration using the reciprocity technique(29).
and the values are expressed in decibels as a sound pressure level. Intensity of sound is a measure of the magnitude and direction of the flow of sound energy. With measurement of sound intensity. To determine pressure in continuous sounds. an exponential-averaging meter is used.05 dB. For discrete sounds. 92 .Metrology for non-metrologists mary references for measurement must have an uncertainty of around 0. it is possible to determine the power of a source without the need for specialized environments. It is usually measured using two microphones and the sound intensity level is expressed in decibels relative to 10-12 Wm-2. and the value is expressed in decibels as an equivalent continuous sound pressure level. Measuring instruments Other measuring instruments are used in addition to microphones. it is an integratingaveraging sound level meter. but the method is not yet widespread.
whose radiation is strong enough to remove or add electrons from matter. In 1896. those that produce noncharged particles such as γ rays and x-rays (both liberate photons) and the neutron radiations. Antoine Henri Becquerel (whose name has been given to the radioactive material disintegration unit) discovered radioactivity in an uranium salt. These radiations may be natural or artificially produced in particle accelerators such as cyclotrons. at least as energetic as X-rays. Pierre and Marie Curie 93 . betatrons. History X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen en 1895. thus producing ions. synchrotrons or linear accelerators.Standards and reference materials IONIZING RADIATION What do we measure We call ionizing radiations those highly penetrating electromagnetic radiations of extremely short wavelength. Among ionizing radiations we have: those that produce charged particles such as α and β radiations and the proton radiations.
in 1899. as well as thorium salts. Definition of the measurements units for ionizing radiation The nucleus of a radionuclide can be transformed or disintegrated spontaneously (see Appendix 5). present in the mineral called pitchblende.Metrology for non-metrologists showed that all uranium salts were radioactive. and is measured with a unit called the becquerel. Another important measurement is the absorbed dose. the quantity of energy imparted by ionizing radiation to a unit mass of matter. and gave them the names of alpha. Activity is characterized by the average number of disintegrations per second. and it can be considered the fundamental unit in dosimetry. and they also discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium. Radioactive emissions are not homogeneous and Ernest Rutherford. The SI does not have base units for ionizing radiation. but it recognizes the becquerel and the gray 94 . beta and gamma radiations. classified them according to their charges and their penetrating power.
at a rate of 1 joule per kilogram of its mass. The gray (symbol Gy) is the dose of ionizing radiation uniformly absorbed by a unit mass of matter. As an example. for α emissions. The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the activity of a radioactive source in which one disintegration is produced per second. in their simplest form they can be stated as follows.Standards and reference materials as derived units. specific to each type of radionuclide. (plutonium 239 and plutonium 240 for instance) a silicon detector 95 . there is no single primary standard for the becquerel. Standards Because of the variety of emitted particles and of the alterations suffered by the radioactive sources. Primary references are set up as a blend of instruments and measurement methods.
In this case. extrapolation chambers (variable ionization). there is no single standard for the gray in dosimetry. etc. calibrators for α and γ rays. both for the becquerel and the gray. Fricke dosimetry. are on the order of 10 -2 to 10-3. Uncertainties Uncertainties in measurements. electronic paramagnetic resonance (for industrial radiations). A counter in a sodium iodide crystal well is used for γ emissions (iodine 123 or iridium 192. counters. ionometry (with highly sensitive instruments that can be used for all radiations). Similarly. calorimeters. for instance). thermoluminescence (in radioprotection and radiotherapy). dosimeters. Measuring instruments As for the setting up of standards. the methods are based on colorimetry. ionization chambers. measurement instruments are detectors.Metrology for non-metrologists is used as a counter in a defined solid angle. 96 .
they are determined from chemical formulas. particularly in analytical chemistry. it is necessary to know the amount of substances used in the diverse reactions and in the products obtained from them. equations. 97 . as a precise indicator of the amount of substance.that is. the amount of matter in a given sample is crucial information. atomic weights and molecular weights. All of stoichiometry is based essentially on the evaluation of the number of moles of substances. In chemistry. and are produced by chemical reactions. the determination of pH. It is also an important element in other aspects such as concentration of solutions. Every chemical reaction has its characteristic proportions. the amount of matter involved. etc. In chemical industry. and from determination of what and how much is used and produced .Standards and reference materials CHEMISTRY What do we measure Stoichiometry is the branch of chemistry and chemical engineering that deals with the quantities of substances that enter into.
ceramics. iron). The first “atomic” theory (matter is made up of atoms. Italy. Empedocles (500 BC). gold and silver. there was in Florence. earth. and water. allegedly written by a possibly fictitious person. It is believed to date back to years 100-300 although. Around 1460. etc. air. Hermes Trismegistus. enamels. It was taken up by Epicurus (341 BC). this would make it the earliest known recorded knowledge of chemistry. pigments. believed there are four elements in nature: fire.Metrology for non-metrologists History Chemistry can be said to have been “studied” since the most remote ages. in view of some references to Egypt. even if at first this knowledge was eminently practical. infinitely small and indivisible) of which we have notice is due to Leucippus (around 475 BC) and his disciple Democritus.. 98 . whom we know through Aristotle. bronze. and known as the Corpus hermeticum. some believe part of its contents to go as far back as 2500 BC. all involve chemical processes to some degree and this requires a certain amount of knowledge. Metal work (copper. a manuscript with fourteen treatises.
what we know he did produce was 99 . who studied Greek documents and to whom a large amount of written texts is attributed. He based his work on sulfur. and in his time. There is material on chemistry written during the eighth century in Northern Africa and. He is believed to have mastered the techniques of practical chemistry known at the time. is reputed to have been able to succeed in producing gold. by Aristotle who taught that all matter is composed of mixtures of these four elements and that they are not permanent but can change one into another. with the availability in Europe of translations from the Arab in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The first “chemist” may well have been Jabir alHayian (also known as Jabir or Geber) of the court of Harun al-Rashid (circa year 786). such as gold. In the fourteenth century one of them. This led to the belief that it was possible to transmute bodies. such as base metals.Standards and reference materials the Latin poet Lucretius (De rerum natura). Nicolas Flamel. mercury and salt. and wrote instructions on how to carry out the manipulations. into others. there exist records of the work performed by the alchemists.
It seriously studied chemical reactions. As an example. more than a simple search for the production of gold. sulfur and salt). Lavoisier always insisted on the fact that measurements were important in chemistry. that hermetic and esoteric world. 100 . possibly the most important chemist must have been Antoine Laurent Lavoisier who. began to be a science. But alchemy. sulfuric acid. contributed to many discoveries and new knowledge (for instance: distillation of aqua vitae or ethanol. and generated countless controversies. in 1789. For our purposes. published his Traité élémentaire de chimie. to which scientists such as Robert Boyle. arguing they could not explain the results of experiments. during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: a fever for alchemy. Robert Boyle in his book The Sceptical Chymist (1661) refuted the chemical theories based on the four elements and on the alchemist trio (mercury. many salts). John Locke and Isaac Newton were not immune. qualitative observation was not sufficient. preparation of aqua regia.Metrology for non-metrologists a gold fever. nitric acid. it was necessary to work quantitatively.
the Avogadro number.023 x 1023.Standards and reference materials Later. of quanta. Avogadro’s number is one of the fundamental constants of chemistry. History Formerly. Presently. thus. in 1811.41 liters and is the same for the lightest gas (hydrogen) as for a heavy gas such as carbon dioxide or bromine. when the 101 . is 6. This number. the mole was defined as the molecular weight of a substance expressed in grams.023 x 1023 (Avogadro’ number) of chemical entities. and although this is not obvious from the way the unit is expressed. Nowadays. we can speak of a mole of atoms. of electrons. it is the number of molecules of any gas present in a volume of 22. 1971]. a mole of ions. International definition of the unit for measurement in chemistry [14th General Conference on Weights and Measures. the term is applied to an amount of 6. of radicals. Amadeo Avogadro stated the principle known by his name: equal volumes of gas at the same temperature and pressure contain the same number of molecules regardless of their chemical nature and physical properties.
electrons. The mole (symbol mol) is the amount of substance of a system which contains as many elementary entities as there are atoms in 0. is based on a recommendation for the use of SI units in medicine and biochemistry due to the importance of avoiding the results of clinical measurement being given in various local units. The katal (symbol kat) is the mole per second unit. other particles or specified groups of such particles. by the 21st General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1999(13).012 kilogram of carbon 12. for use in medicine and biochemistry for the expression of catalytic activity. ions. molecules.Metrology for non-metrologists mole is used. the elementary entities must be specified and these may be atoms. The recent adoption of a derived unit. 102 .
among them we have: Primary methods of direct measurement: Electrochemistry: .pH measurements . together with chemically pure substances.coulometric titration . Working standards in chemistry consist of a set of methods. the reference materials.electrolytic conductivity 103 .Standards and reference materials Standards and reference materials There is as yet no unique primary standard realization for the mole although work is being done towards having reliable standards. and in a known matrix. with a defined titer. called primary.CCQM) of the CIPM has recommended several methods as having a high potential for their recognition as primary methods. The Consultative Committee on the Amount of Substance (Comité Consultatif sur la Quantité de Matière .
and for 104 .titrimetry Primary correlation methods of measurement: .nuclear magnetic resonance .isotopic dilution with mass spectrometry . the assessment of a measurement method.gravimetry . accompanied by a certificate. one or more of whose property values are certified by a procedure which establishes traceability to an accurate realization of the unit in which the property values are expressed. Certified reference material: Reference material. let us recall here the definitions for reference material and for certified reference material.differential calorimetry As to the materials to be used.Methods of classical analytical chemistry: . Reference material: material or substance one or more of whose property values are sufficiently homogeneous and well established to be used for the calibration of an apparatus. or for assigning values to materials.
Measuring instruments All determinations involve analytical techniques and instruments for those methods considered to be primary and they have already been mentioned. However. we can speak of levels from 10-3 to 10-4. An example of these is the usual certified reference materials used in laboratories to calibrate instruments.which each certified value is accompanied by an uncertainty at a stated level of confidence. uncertainties of results vary according to the element to be quantified and its concentration. 105 . and to verify methods and reagents. Uncertainties In chemistry.
Alonso. 1953 2. Marcelo Física. 1992. Mecánica. Tomo IV. 29. 675-679 107 . Harris University Physics New York. Audoin. Campos. 1995/96. J. Caesium Beam Frequency Standards: Classical and Optically Pumped Metrologia. Hidromecánica-Calor. Curso elemental Tomo I.REFERENCES 1. física atómica La Habana Cuba. et al Realization of the candela from a partial filtering V(() detector traceable to a cryogenic radiometer Metrologia. John Wiley & Sons. Electromagnetismo. 1991 5. Cultural S. Tomo II. C. Benson. 1997 3.. 113-134 4. 32.A. Alvaro Medeiros de Farias Theisen Fundamentos da Metrologia Industrial Porto Alegre.
Cerruti. 251-254 9. CENAM personal communications 7. 11. 53. Cooter. 34. 1998. J. 1997. 31. De Bièvre P. Concise Encyclopedia of the Sciences. Jan 1967. I. Amedeo Avogadro and others Metrologia. New York. 1993 108 . volume 1 McGraw-Hill. The Mole. 79. Realization of a photometric scale based on cryogenic radiometry Metrologia. Clare.F. 49-59 12.L. 35. Facts on File. Peiser The reliability of values of molar mass. the factor that relates measurements expressed in two SI base units (mass and amount of substance) Metrologia.S. L.Metrology for non-metrologists 6. 1994. Dictionary of Physics.1978 10. and H. 159-166 8. Electrical standards and measurements Electro-Technology.
CGPM (information obtained from the BIPM site on the Internet) 14. Draft resolutions 21st. 35. J. Gardner. Stephen ¿Se vislumbra el final de la física teórica? in Agujeros negros y pequeños universos.. NIST.References 13. 1999. et al New basis for the Australian realization of the candela Metrologia. México. Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI) Barry N. 1994 109 . Edwards. Editorial Planeta. 1995 17. et al A 633 nm iodine-stabilized diode-laser frequency standard Metrologia. 36. C. 235-239 16. 1988. Taylor NIST Special Publication 811 US Department of Commerce.L. 41-45 15. Hawking.S.
http://www..lcie. AMJ Publishing Co. http://www. http://www. International Comparison Final Report Field: Acoustics.br/sim 23.nist. 1975 19. 1993 110 .cenam. Robert A.com.mx 21. http://www. http://www. Tarzana. EUROMET Metrologia.. 1997. 197-198 28.org 26. http://www.fr 24. http://www. CA.euromet.gov 25.ibpinet.fr 20. Hopkins. revised ed.oiml. 34.de 27.Metrology for non-metrologists 18. ISO Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement Geneva.org 22.bipm. http://www. ISO.ptb. The International (SI) Metric System and How it Works 3rd.
CENAM. Entitic quantities. Carlos H. 7-11 34.L. 36. 1999. La candela. Duncan Sound measurements Metrologia. McGlashan. principios y usos Mexico. molar quantities and relations between them Metrologia. INDECOPI. McGlashan M. Matamoros García. 1999 31. 447-455 33. M. 34. maintenance and characteristics US Department of Commerce. 1965 111 .References 29.L. Jarvis. their construction. 1997. 249-255 30. Amount of substance and the mole Metrologia. 1994/95. 31. Perú. José Dajes Castro Sistema Internacional de Unidades de Medida Lima. 1999 32. National Bureau of Standards Standard cells.
NIST Time and Frequency FAQ (information obtained from the NIST site on the Internet) 37. of Commerce. Jackson Characterization of modified FEL quartz-halogen lamps for photometric standards Metrologia. NBSIR 75-926 The National Measurement System for Length and Related Dimensional Measurements. 1995/96. Ohno. Norma Centroamericana ICAITI 4010 Guía para el uso del sistema internacional de unidades. and J. contiene factores de conversión para pasar de unidades de otros sistemas a unidades SI Guatemala.Metrology for non-metrologists 35. Part I. n. 35. Detector-based luminous-flux calibration using the Absolute Integrating-Sphere Method Metrologia. Ohno. US Dept. 1976. 473-478 39. 38. 693-696 112 . 1998. 32. Y. National Bureau of Standards. ICAITI.K. Y.d. 36.
An essay on the origin and development of physical theory N. SI Guide. Omega Engineering Inc http://www. 30. M1. Park. 1998 113 . M2.. International System of Units Geneva. 1994 42. France. ISO. Padrões de Unidades de Medidas.J. 641-644 46. F1. E2. 1999 41.omega. INMETRO. F2. OIML. Referências Metrológicas da França e do Brasil Rio de Janeiro.D. Princeton University Press. and F. Samaan N. OIML R111 Weights of classes E1.com/techref/measureguide.References 40. 1999 44. David The How and the Why . M3. OIML D 2 (1999) Legal units of measurement France. 1993/94. Abdullah Computer-aided Modelling of Pressure Balances Metrologia.html 43. OIML. 1988 45.
doses. D. effects.3. 655-658 48. 30. Simpson. 1992. Primary Standards Unit A Precision Electrical Measurement Course August 1962 50.T. Kenya. 29. vol.Metrology for non-metrologists 47. The Boeing Co. 1985 51. 1993/94. Tarbeyev Yu. V. US Department of Commerce.. risks Nairobi. and E. 313-314 49..I. UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) Radiation. Computerized Techniques for Calibrating Pressure Balances Metrologia. 1972 114 . Frantsuz Measuring Procedure to realize the Ampere by the Superconducting Mass Levitation Method Metrologia. National Bureau of Standards Definition of Ampere and Magnetic Constant Precision Measurement and Calibration NBS Special Publication 300.
34. Short Communication. ISO. US Department of Commerce.5. 1993 55.Y. VIM. Vasco Ronchi Optics. Part I: Some definitions. Comité Consultatif de Thermométrie On the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90). (Vocabulaire International des Termes Fondamentaux et Généraux de Métrologie) International Vocabulary of Basic and General Terms in Metrology Genève. the science of vision N. University Press.References 52. Metrologia 1997. National Bureau of Standards Frequency and time Precision Measurement and Calibration NBS Special Publication 300. 1972 53. 1957 54. Working Group 1. 427-429 115 . vol..
Metrology for non-metrologists Appendix 1 Fundamental physical constants and their relationship to the base units RK RK h e2 k KJ -8 2e h 4x10 ? 4x10 -8 2x10 -6 e k R 4x10 -8 2x10 -6 R RK-90 KJ-90 (10 -9 ) (10 -10 ) A K 3x10 -7 -9 4x10 8x10 -8 ? 3x10 -15 mol S exact NA 8x10 -8 -4 10 c cd kg m 10 -12 8x10 -8 ? 10 -3 h -12 G m 12 c ? 8x10 -8 8x10 R me 8x10 -8 Reproduced by authorization of the BIPM 116 .
Appendix 1 c h α R k Kj Kj-90 Rk Rk-90 e NA G m12 speed of light in vacuum Planck’s constant fine structure constant gas constant Boltzmann’s constant Josephson’s constant conventional value of Josephson’s constant von Klitzing’s constant conventional value of von Klitzing’s constant elementary charge Avogadro’s number gravitational constant mass of carbon 12 electron mass Rydberg’s constant C me R∞ 117 .
Appendix 2 Some SI derived units SI derived unit radian (a) rad sr(c) Hz N Pa J W C N·m J/s N/m2 steradian(a) hertz newton pascal joule watt coulomb Name Expression in terms of other SI units Derived quantity plane angle Expression in terms of SI base units m·m-1 = 1 (b) m2·m-2 = 1 s-1 m·kg·s-2 m-1·kg·s-2 m2·kg·s-2 m2·kg·s-3 s·A (b) Metrology for non-metrologists solid angle 118 frequency force pressure. stress energy. radiant flux electric charge. quantity of electricity . quantity of heat power. work.
electric potential difference. electromotive force volt farad ohm siemens weber tesla henry degree Celsius(d) lumen lux becquerel °C lm lx Bq cd·sr (c) lm/m2 H T Wb V·s Wb/m2 Wb/A S A/V Ω V/A F C/V V W/A m2·kg·s-3·A-1 m-2·kg-1 ·s4·A2 m2·kg·s-3·A-2 m-2·kg-1 ·s3·A2 m2· kg·s-2·A-1 kg·s-2·A-1 m2· kg·s-2·A-2 K m2·m-2·cd = cd capacitance electric resistance electric conductance magnetic flux 119 magnetic flux density inductance Celsius temperature luminous flux illuminance m2·m-4·cd = m-2 ·cd s-1 Appendix 2 activity (referred to a radionuclide) .
personal dose equivalent.absorbed dose. the name steradian and the symbol sr are usually retained in expressions for units. (d) This unit may be used in combination with SI prefixes. m°C. but the derived unit “1” is generally omitted. e. the symbols rad and sr are used where appropriate. millidegree Celsius. specific energy (imparted). index of absorbed dose gray Gy J/kg m2·s-2 dose equivalent.g. kerma. (c) In photometry. (b) In practice. . sievert Sv J/kg m2·s-2 Metrology for non-metrologists organ equivalent dose 120 (a) The radian and steradian may be used with advantage in expressions for derived units to distinguish between quantities of different nature but with the same dimension.
000 000 000 001 Appendix 3 .001 0.000 000 001 0.000 001 121 0.Appendix 3 Most common multiples and submultiples for use with SI Factor = 109 giga mega kilo mili micro nano pico M k m µ n p G = 10 = 10 = 10 = 10 = 10 = 10 -12 -9 -6 -3 3 6 Prefix Symbol Factor in words one thousand millions one million one thousand one thousandth one millionth one thousand millionth one billionth 1 000 000 000 1 000 000 1 000 0.
Attraction between lines of force G. Gray (1696-1736). Classification of bodies that can be electrified by rubbing F. Hauskbee (seventeenth century). Magnetic repulsion Peter Peregrinus (1269). Repulsion William Gilbert (1540-1603). Superficial distribution of electricity 122 . First hypothesis on magnetism Roger Bacon (1214-1294). Cardan (1501-1576). First text on magnetism Cornelius Gema (sixteenth century). Differences between electric and magnetic phenomena Nicolo Cabeo (1585-1650).Metrology for non-metrologists Appendix 4 Scientists who have worked with electricity Epicurus (342-270 BC). First electroscope S.
Appendix 4 C. Fundamental law of electricity Alessandro Volta (1745-1827). Cavendish (1731-1810). Terrestrial magnetism M. Electric fluids. Voltaic pile G. Dielectric constant and magnetic lines of force Wilhelm Weber (1804-1890). Gauss (1777-1855). Coulomb (1736-1806). Faraday (1791-1867). Quantitative law of attraction between two poles Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854). Concept of potential in electrostatics J. good and bad conductors Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Dielectric constant. Karl F. Lightning as an electric phenomenon H. Du Fay (1698-1739). Permanent dipoles 123 . electric capacity and potential Charles A. Green (1793-1841).
a potential difference appears across the width of the strip 124 . Biot (1774-1862). When a magnetic field is applied perpendicular to a current-carrying strip. R. Hertz (1857-1894). Magnetism is a manifestation of electricity in motion M.Metrology for non-metrologists Hans C. (1797-1878). Verification that the speed of electromagnetic waves equals the speed of light Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937). Induced electromotive force James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). and repelled if in opposite senses Pierre S. Jean B. Theory of the nuclear atom Edwin H. Laplace (1749-1836). Ampere (1775-1836). Light is an electromagnetic phenomenon H. Oersted. Two parallel currents are attracted if they flow in the same sense. Henry. Hall (1855-1938). J. (1770-1851).
since each pair carries a charge of 2e. Cooper pairs can tunnel through a thin (1 nm) insulating barrier separating two superconductors.Appendix 4 Leon N. with no external field and no current flowing.). In the ground state. a supercurrent is created in the absence of any applied potential difference 125 . at 0 K. all the electrons form Cooper pairs in which two electrons have opposite momenta and spin Briand David Josephson (1940. Cooper (in 1956).
Some nuclides.basic concepts(50) Atoms of the same element always have the same number of protons in their nuclei but they can have different numbers of neutrons. are stable or produce such low radiation that they can be considered stable. Thus. In those that are unstable. uranium-238 has 92 protons and 146 neutrons while uranium-235 has the same 92 protons but only 143 neutrons. Atoms thus characterized are called nuclides. The whole transformation process is called radioactivity and the unstable nuclides are called radionuclides. every transformation frees energy and there are many variations for these sequences of transformation or decay as it is called. Those with different numbers of neutrons belong to different varieties of the same element and are called its isotopes. The average number of transforma- 126 .Metrology for non-metrologists Appendix 5 Radionuclides . the minority. They are usually distinguished by the total number of particles in their nuclei.
The amount of radiation deposited in living tissues is called the absorbed dose and it is measured with a unit called the gray. 127 . The transformations may be natural or man-made by.Appendix 5 tions that take place each second in an amount of radioactive material is called its activity. after the man who discovered the phenomenon. The activity is measured in becquerels. for instance. however. Alpha (α) radiations can be stopped by a sheet of paper and they barely penetrate the outer layers of the skin. Beta (β) radiations can penetrate through a couple of centimetres of living tissue and gamma (γ ) radiations are stopped only by thick slabs of lead or concrete. It is the energy of α radiation that does the damage. they are extremely damaging when they get into the body through an open wound. neutron bombardment of stable nuclides. or when they are eaten or breathed in. The diverse forms of radiation are emitted with different energies and penetrating power.
the damage potential is taken into account in what is known as the dose equivalent which is measured in sieverts.Metrology for non-metrologists On the other hand. 128 . a dose of α radiation is more damaging (20 times more so) than the same dose of β or γ radiation. for this reason.
Temperature Time and frequency Electricity and magnetism Photometry and radiometry Acoustics and vibrations Ionizing radiation Chemistry References 53 63 73 79 85 93 97 107 Appendix 1 Fundamental physical constants and their relationship to base units 116 Appendix 2 Some derived SI units Appendix 3 Multiples and submultiples of common use with SI Appendix 4 Scientists in the field of electricity Appendix 5 Radionuclides .basic concepts 118 121 122 126 viii .
NIST. and the professional staff ix . Dr. Steve Carpenter. Acoustical and Noise Standards. through its Director for International Affairs. and the German Cooperation for Development. The authors are particularly indebted to the scientific excellence of the Centro Nacional de Metrología de México (CENAM) and the contribution of its Director. of the National Physical Laboratory of the United Kingdom (NPL. Dr. GTZ. For the help received. Lester Hernández from COGUANOR in Guatemala. were the first to believe that such a document could be of use. For its part. Dr. “Acceleration” section of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany. made freely available copies of its specialised publications. The Organization of the American States. the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the USA. Héctor Nava Jaimes. the authors wish to thank the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM). Dr. OAS. UK).Acknowledgements ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Several people and organizations have helped to make this publication possible. Hans-Jürgen von Martens. Gérard Geneves at the Laboratoire Central des Industries Eléctriques du Bureau National de Métrologie in France (BNM-LCIE). Dr. Duncan Jarvis. Ing.
Luis Mussio. Scientific Coordinator. Rubén Lazos. We are particularly indebted for their valuable comments to Dr.Sc. Ismael Castelazo Sinencio. Director of Tecnological Services and M. and to Dr. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Responsibility for the contents of this publication lies solely with the authors. Several changes in this second edition were suggested by CENAM personnel. both at CENAM. Head of Metrology at the Laboratorio Tecnológico del Uruguay (LATU).Hermon Edmonson and Mr.of that organization. July 2002 x . all of them shared fully and unreservedly their knowledge and their work practices. Allan Foreman of the Bureau of Standards of Jamaica for their help with the English version of this publication.
Metrology blends tradition and change. measurement systems reflect a people’s traditions. the amounts and characteristics of a product are the result of a contract between the client (consumer) and the provider (manufacturer). a scientifically and technically sound document as an introduction to the main aspects of Metrology in the hope that it will help them understand its importance. to those who are not themselves metrologists. tests and assays can be done to establish if a product or service conforms to existing quality standards and this. A study of history shows that the progress of nations has always been related to their progress in measurements. measurements contribute to this process and thus influence xi .Presentation PRESENTATION The aim of this book is to make available. a fact we often disregard. Because they facilitate and regulate commercial transactions. correct measurements are fundamental for governments. in turn. Thanks to our measurement instruments and apparatus. Metrology is the science of measurements and measurements are a permanent and integral part of our daily lives. but at the same time we are always seeking new standards and ways of measuring as part of our progress and evolution. for enterprises and for the population at large. Very often. gives an assurance of quality of those products and services offered to consumers.
traceability. through permanent improvement of the measurements that influence quality. and contributing to a rational use of natural resources. it seeks to ensure. the aim of Industrial metrology is to promote competitiveness in manufacturing and service industries. Legal or Industrial Metrology. that the client who buys something is effectively receiving the amount agreed upon. according to their scope and their field of application. For its part. they are characterized as Scientific. Legal and industrial metrology relate to the national use of the standards in commerce and in industry. helping to preserve the environment. metrology has become even more important. calibration. Metrology is the basic core for these func- xii . As a result of the current dynamics of world commerce. measurements and quality control.Metrology for non-metrologists quality of life for the population by protecting the consumer. and it promotes their acceptance and international equivalence. Metrology related activities in a given country are usually the responsibility of one or several bodies. laboratory accreditation. with a stronger emphasis on the relationship between metrology and quality. autonomous or governmental and. at all levels. and certification. The field of Legal metrology relates to commercial transactions. Scientific metrology is responsible for the research needed to produce standards with a sound scientific basis.
both those produced locally and those imported from other countries. From the Government point of view. to services. to products. Innovation may be applied to production or management processes.Presentation tions and. when carried out coherently. enterprises. including manufacturing and services (such as health. it must be recognized that metrology is a necessary (albeit insufficient by itself) condition for quality. education. Internationally. In every country. are the ones who compete. related to Government. Permanent improvement of quality xiii . or to any other function of the enterprise. and one of the pillars of international competitiveness is quality. a relationship known as the GEP model.). and not governments. this model is essential to fully understand the purpose of the infrastructure required to support the establishment of policies and regulations for manufacturing products and for services. The capacity of an enterprise to innovate is one of the factors of the competitiveness of the enterprise. etc. Enterprises and Population. Metrology plays a singular role. it can bring order and contribute to the final aim of improving and guaranteeing quality in products and services. and that they directly influence competitiveness of enterprises. Government must also be aware that the measurement capabilities of a country are a measure of its level of technological development in several fields.
Change is the only constant in an environment of continuous improvement. Worldwide open commerce has meant a growing interdependence among nations. it indirectly contributes to the creation of new jobs. etc. defense. For enterprises. countries find themselves signing bilateral or regional agreements and treaties. Measurements are. More and more often. the quality and the safety of consumer products as well as the impact of these products on the environment. continuous improvement requires procedures that use measurement parameters. These involve different sectors (industry. but it also helps to protect people by watching over the contents. Metrology is essential to support the control of the products being manufactured and their impact on the well being of the Population. in turn. and Metrology is called upon to determine that these products are in accordance with health and safety standards and specifications.) and enterprises are then faced with operational xiv . an integral part of the innovation process. so that the newly implemented procedures may be compared with what had been used before. will open new avenues for growth and the creation of new jobs. therefore. environment.Metrology for non-metrologists requires continuous improvement of activities. Communities consume national and foreign products. Metrology’s relationship with population is twofold: with its influence on the development of enterprises. the purpose of continuous improvement is generally to win markets and expand production facilities that. health. commerce.
CGPM) asked the International Committee on Weights and Measures (Comité International des Poids et Mesures . The first serious formal step for an international order on measurements was the international Metre Convention or Treaty of the Meter (May 20.Presentation international rules that apply to manufacture. If we add to this the fact that consumers are ever more influenced by global patterns of consumption. buying of raw materials. the National Institutes of Metrology and the Regional Metrology Organizations.International Office of Weights and Measures). the national metrology organizations of 34 countries are associated in the InterAmerican Metrology System. which gave birth to the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures . the 20th General Conference on Weights and Measures (Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures . etc. marketing. A primary requirement for this order is the adoption and recognition of an international system of measurement units. In the Western Hemisphere. so as to be able to direct and establish the respective roles of BIPM. These metrology groups are: NORAMET (North xv . 1875).CIPM) to carry out a study on international needs related to Metrology. In October 1995. it is easy to see how essential it is to have a technical infrastructure that can act as the framework for global coordination and order. known as SIM. SIM coordinates its functions based on an organization of five sub-regions that correspond to the five main economic and commercial groups of the Western Hemisphere.
the fourth chapter details the measurement standards and the reference materials currently used for the main units of the International System of Units (SI). Because of the recognized importance of Metrology and because of the importance of its being better understood by different groups of specialists. Our hope is that reading this publication will help to gain easily a better understanding of current Metrology. CAMET (Central America). the second tries to explain what is measured and why. and SURAMET (South America). Organization of the American States. ANDIMET (Andean Group). Accreditation and Quality. xvi . the third strives to underline the importance of this field of endeavor with a very brief description of some applications. The first chapter is a general introduction.Metrology for non-metrologists America). this publication is addressed. to those whose specialty is not Metrology. as its title clearly shows. CARIMET (the Caribbean). Oscar Harasic Regional Coordinator of the Project Inter-American System for Metrology. OAS. Standardization.
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