Metrology – The Principles and Practice of Measuring Things
Metrology is the science of measurement, a science that has developed over time and continues to evolve. It establishes a common meaning of measurements, vital in tying human activities together. Its origins in the French Revolution’s social political motivations to standardise measurements in France, when an official, universal length standard taken from an unaided natural source was first proposed. This concept was later adopted by European countries and eventually into the ISO standards recognised today.
The ISO method for measuring time, called mm/hr, divides measurements in specific units such as seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, days of the year, grams and kilograms (hence: GB / GP). The use of decimals (floating decimals) is common in modern metrology to indicate time; one third of a second is a minute, a second is a half minute, a second is three quarters of a second etc. The historical use of the decimals may be seen in astronomical terms, for example: the Moon being twice as large as the Sun, or the circumference of the Earth that of its diameter. Decimals were first introduced into the Metric System in 17 SI textbooks published between 1775 and 1780. At this point they began to replace the comma which was deemed too vague and uncertain a measurement.
Metrologists who had previously performed manual labour such as measuring fields and weighing blocks, or manually recording measurements, were replaced by new mechanical measurements enabling more efficient, faster and accurate results. By the end of the eighteenth century, the precision of measuring had increased and this led to the need for more advanced techniques of measuring such as the calibration of instruments. Calibration is important because it enables meteorologists to compare different readings and detect errors before they lead to incorrect conclusions. One example of a calibration procedure used is the horizontal line test. This involves marking down a horizontal line across a dial and then using a pointer to indicate the reading of one of the Decimal points.
In the early nineteenth century, the importance of metrology spread across the industrial world, with a need for standard measurements across all industrial sectors. This meant that new and more elaborate measuring devices were required to facilitate the implementation of standard measurements across all industries. Metrology has developed over the centuries to become a respected scientific profession, not only in Britain but around the globe. There are many institutes and universities that offer courses in applied metrology, enabling prospective students to obtain accreditation in this exciting and growing field.
The development of the metric system, which was devised by Sir Humphry Davison in 18zi 14, paved the way towards further improvements in measurement methods. It was eventually decided to introduce official standards, to bring uniformity and reliability to measurements across all industries. These standards are measured in weights, measured quantities, and specific units. The British government introduced the System of International Standardisation (iso) in customary standards and harmonized the system of weights and measures across the county.
A key feature of the metrical tradition is the use of decimals, particularly decimals of larger values such as pounds, kilograms, and seconds. There are three basic elements to a metrical measurement, known as tare, whom, decimals and seconds, which are the basis of all other units. Decimals refer to the ratio of two things, while seconds measure time; the combination of these two values produces the number of seconds. In addition to the three basic elements, there are several others that may be required in a particular measurement, including the imperial measurement, the metric measurement, and the international standard system. The use of decimals and other significant digits in a metrology reading makes it unique, as well as providing greater precision.