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What Is Metrology

Metrology is the science of measurements. It is also the science of standardizing these measurements, so we can all use them and get the same results. It is one of the most important inventions in the entire history of human beings. It was critical to the manufacturing revolution that happened in the 1800s. Even today, metrology is a vital part of some of the most intricate manufacturing in the entire world.

Why It’s So Important

Nothing we have in society would be possible without the field of metrology. It is so important that there are monuments in countries like France dedicated to the first measuring instruments. For example, the instrument we used to measure the first machined parts are available there. Everything from measuring time in seconds to distance in miles is considered metrology. We would not be able to have complicated societies with standard measurements without this amazing science.

Usage In Society

Metrology is used in every aspect of our society. When you open your smartphone and use the timer, you are using metrology. It is also used to manufacture and build the majority of items we use today. For example, your home or apartment has a building plan with accurately measured dimensions. This is an example of metrology being applied to our world.

Semiconductor Manufacturing

One of the areas where metrology is used the most is in semiconductor manufacturing. Semiconductor manufacturing requires creating features on silicon that are measured in nanometers. You are creating some of the smallest parts in the entire history of human beings. A transistor is a lot smaller than the width of a human hair. You are creating processors and other integrated circuits with billions of these transistors in an area so small it can fit on your fingernail. Metrology is needed to make sure all of these small parts line up, and you don’t end up creating semiconductors that don’t work. You also need dedicated metrology equipment to keep the manufacturing tools aligned.


Computer-aided design is an example where metrology is so important. The building trades need a lot of metrology to get stuff built like it is on the plan. Metrology is used in this case, and it is essential to making sure the building can be completed accurately.

Machining and Manufacturing

Although human beings have had metrology for thousands of years, it didn’t actually become an official science until the Industrial Revolution. This was because of the invention of machine tools like the lathe and CNC mill. Since machines need to be built to tight tolerances, metrology is one of the most important factors in how good a machine will be. The more accurate the machines are, the more expensive they will be to produce and market. Metrology is what separates the best manufacturers from the rest.

Precision Navigation

It might not seem like it, but Precision navigation uses metrology as well. The global positioning system is one of the greatest inventions in the history of navigation. This requires the use of metrology to give you an accurate location within a few hundred meters.


Accounting is also a field that has been influenced by metrology. We now have the latest tools to calculate accurate accounts. Metrology is also what drives the global financial system because it enables the accurate counting of money. This accuracy is what international trade works as well as it does.

Scientific Achievement and Experimentation

After manufacturing, science is the biggest beneficiary of metrology. In fact, the field of chemistry would not exist without accurate measurements from Antoine Lavoisier. This was one of the first ways that metrology was applied to studying the world. This type of accurate measuring has been key to many discoveries, and it is only through accurate measurements that we can understand the world fully. Metrology will play a huge role in the future of scientific discoveries. As we learn more, it is more important than ever to get accurate data when conducting experiments.