Happy World Metrology Day!

Today, May 20th, 2020, is World Metrology Day, a celebration of the science of measurement! NIST Director Walter Copan BS/MS/PhD ’75-’82 celebrated World Metrology Day on the NIST Blog:

Today is World Metrology Day. Have you put up the decorations and baked a cake yet to celebrate?! You should!

Director Copan went on to highlight the role of metrology in medicine, including the importance of measurement in fighting the current pandemic.

We here at W8EDU are big fans of metrology, and I’d love to see friends and members of W8EDU join in the celebration. Bonus points if you can show how any aspect of your decorations or cake is NIST-traceable.

If you’re looking for a short metrology-related activity, consider the downloading one of the free smartphone apps mentioned in this article in Physics magazine. These apps allow you to record, analyze, and export data from the sensors in your device. A typical smartphone or tablet may be able to measure everything from barometric pressure to magnetic fields, so there’s a lot of good measurement science to be had. Determining if a measurement is NIST-traceable may be fairly difficult (it may be hard to find information on manufacturers’ calibration methods), but it’s still interesting to see what you can come up with.

For something more involved, if you have some electronics equipment at home, there’s Conrad Hoffman’s Mini Metrology Lab from Electronics Now in 1996. The article may be older, but make no mistake, voltage standards are very important for many up-and-coming topics in electronics.

Best wishes, and I look forward to seeing your NIST-traceable cakes!

— Aidan KB3UMD

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