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Programs in Metrology?

  1. May 25, 2012 #1
    After looking at the measuring instruments in the lab I'm working in, it got me thinking about how they actually work and how precise they can possibly be. I'm currently a undergrad in Physics which seems to be a relatively good place to be if I wanted to do some kind of metrology. I just have little to no information as to how one actually gets into it.

    Is there some academic path you follow to get into Metrology?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2012 #2
    Many of my friends from when I was an undergraduate have gotten into meteorology.

    They all majored in either Applied Math or Physics and all of them took minors in computer science and atmospheric science.

    For graduate school, they all chose University of Washington to get their PhDs in Meteorology. From what I hear, it's a pretty good school for that, so given that my friends all did math/physics as undergrads, I'd say that you're probably not doing anything wrong via getting your undergrad in physics.
     
  4. May 27, 2012 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Is this Meteorology or Metrology?
     
  5. May 27, 2012 #4
    Metrology - Science of Measurement
     
  6. May 28, 2012 #5

    f95toli

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    Well, it depends on the area of metrology you are interested in. There is -as far as I know- no "obvious" route into metrology; just about everyone I know ended up in it more or less by chance. It is also a very broad area, the line between "regular" physic/engineering and metrology is very blurry.

    It also depends on what "level" of metrology you are interested in, the people who work on metrology for companies are generally engineers; whereas people who work for national measurements institutes (NIST, NPL, PTB etc.) are usually scientists with a PhD in whatever field they are working in (often with a background in academia).

    my advice would be to get a PhD in whatever area you are interested in. Many areas of experimental physics have applications in metrology, so if you e.g. get a PhD in experimental solid state physics you can work in quantum hall systems, Josephson voltage standards etc. A PhD in atomic physics might get you into working on atomic clocks etc.

    There are undergraduate courses in metrology at some universities, they are good for getting an overview of the field.
     
  7. May 28, 2012 #6
    Hah, good catch Vanadium ... sorry Dauden, I just misread and jumped right in with an irrelevant post, I have no clue as to the actual topic. That's what you get when you read things too quickly.

    Good luck figuring this out though.
     
  8. May 28, 2012 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    I know very few people working in metrology, and none of them are working in a general "metrology" - they are all working on one aspect of it, like measuring frequency.
     
  9. May 29, 2012 #8

    f95toli

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    Indeed, there is no such thing as general "metrology", e.g. mass and dimensional is a very different area than say working on atomic clocks, standards for microwave measurements or electrical metrology.

    That said, people who work in metrology tend to pick up some unique skills that you rarely find in academia (unless you attend a metrology course); they are e.g. usually very good at analysing data and tracking down uncertainties. However, this tends to be something you learn once you start working in the field.

    (for the record, I know lots of people who work in metrology, and some of the work I do could be classified as metrology)
     
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