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Basic Mass, Length, Volume - States

This course is typically limited to participation by State metrologists on a first-come, first-served basis as it is a requirement for NIST WMD recognition of their laboratory. If space is available, other metrologists are welcome.

The Basic Metrology Seminar-States is a two-week "hands-on" seminar. It incorporates approximately 30 percent lectures and 70 percent demonstrations and laboratory work in which the trainee performs measurements by applying procedures and equations discussed in the classroom. The seminar focuses on the understanding and application of the procedures, the equations, and calculations involved, including calculation of standard deviations and uncertainties error analysis, the operation of the laboratory equipment, and review of publications, standards, specifications, and tolerances relevant to the measurements likely to be performed by the metrologist. The first week is dedicated to mass measurement, while the second week is split between length and volume measurements. The entire seminar incorporates statistical analysis and process measurement control methods.

As a result of the Basic seminar, a metrologist should be able to perform tolerance testing and calibration of mass(without air buoyancy corrections), length, and volume standards. Air buoyancy concepts are introduced but are not covered extensively due to the lack of time and the extensiveness and complexity of the subject. Basic Laboratory Auditing Program (LAP) problems are assigned at the completion of the course. Acceptable completion of the problems is required for NIST Weights and Measures Division laboratory recognition in support of medium accuracy mass calibrations, volume transfer calibrations and length calibrations.

Minimum Requirements

The suggested minimum requirements for a metrologist attending the Basic seminar are a working knowledge of algebra, basic knowledge of physics and statistics, completion of the Basic Mass Metrology CD-ROM (NISTIR 1001) and some laboratory experience. NBS Handbook 145/NIST IR6969 is used as the main text in the Basic Metrology Seminar - States and includes most procedures currently in use in the State weights and measures laboratories.

A scientific calculator (minimum 10 digits) and familiarity with its operation is required.


The fee for 2011 is $2,990 which does NOT include meals, lodging, or travel expenses. State weights and measures metrologists are funded by NIST WMD

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