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Representation of various historical units of measurement using the example of the Vitruvian man

The metrology (from Greek μετρῶ METRO " measure " and -logie ) is the science of measurement. The third edition of the International Vocabulary of Metrology from 2007 defines metrology as "the science of measurement and its application".

The International Bureau of Weights and Measures ( Bureau International des Poids et Mesures ) defines metrology as "the science of measurement, which includes both experimental and theoretical determinations, with any level of uncertainty and in any field of science and technology".

Metrology must not be confused with meteorology, i.e. meteorology (from Gr. Μετέωρος metéōros "floating in the air", see also meteor ).

Fields of activity and categories

The fields of activity include:

  • the definition of internationally accepted units of measurement ,
  • the realization of units of measurement through scientific methods as well
  • the establishment of traceability chains by determining and documenting measured values ​​and their accuracy , and the dissemination of this knowledge.

Metrology can also be divided into the following categories:

  • scientific metrology (organization, development and maintenance of standards at the highest level);
  • applied, technical or industrial metrology (ensuring the appropriate function of measuring devices in industry, in production and during testing and in scientific research);
  • legal metrology (monitoring of measurements that are regulated by law; typically trade and business transactions, health, protection of the environment, public safety and the official determination of facts).

Metrological institutions and organizations

National institutions

The definition and control of weights and measures within the framework of legal metrology is a national, sovereign right that is now usually exercised by state institutes. The same institutions are usually also active in scientific metrology.



In Germany, basic and advanced training for the discipline is carried out by the German Academy for Metrology .

Together with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the Technical University of Braunschweig has been offering in- depth courses on metrology for doctoral students with the International Graduate School of Metrology since the 2007 summer semester .

See also


  • Hans Bachmair, Peter Ulbig: Organization of metrology in Germany , chapter 32 in: Tilo Pfeifer, Robert Schmitt (editor): Masing handbook quality management . Sixth revised edition, Carl Hanser Fachbuchverlag, Munich and Vienna 2014, ISBN 978-3-446-43431-8 .
  • Wolfgang Trapp : Small manual of the dimensions, numbers, weights and the time calculation. With tables and figures . Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 1992, pp. 10, 269-282. (= Universal Library No. 8737) ISBN 3-15-008737-6 . (4th, full and extended edition 2001)

Web links

Commons : Metrology  - collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. What is metrology? (Translation of the English original). Retrieved July 8, 2018 .
  2. ^ Metrology - In Short, 3rd edition. Retrieved May 7, 2017 .
  3. ^ Institutions of legal metrology (Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying BEV in Austria). Retrieved November 19, 2018 .
  4. ^ Website of the Braunschweig International Graduate School of Metrology .