International Bureau of Weights and Measures

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International Bureau of Weights and Measures
French: Bureau international des poids et mesures
ΜΕΤΡΩ ΧΡΩ ("Use the measure"[1])
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Metre Convention signatories
Abbreviation BIPM
Motto ΜΕΤΡΩ ΧΡΩ ("Use the measure"[2])
Formation 20 May 1875; 143 years ago (20 May 1875)
Type Intergovernmental
Location
Region served
Worldwide
Membership
Official language
French and English
Director
Martin Milton
Website www.bipm.org

Coordinates: 48°49′45.55″N 2°13′12.64″E / 48.8293194°N 2.2201778°E / 48.8293194; 2.2201778 The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (French: Bureau international des poids et mesures (BIPM)) is an intergovernmental organization that was established by the Metre Convention, through which member states act together on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards. The organisation is usually referred to by its French initialism, BIPM. The BIPM's headquarters is based at Sèvres, France. It has custody of the International Prototype Kilogram and houses the secretariat for this organization as well as hosting its formal meetings.

The BIPM reports to the International Committee for Weights and Measures (French: Comité international des poids et mesures, CIPM), a directorate of twelve members that meet biannually, which is in turn overseen by periodic meetings of the democratic international organization, consisting of delegates from all member states, the General Conference on Weights and Measures (French: Conférence générale des poids et mesures, CGPM). These organizations are also commonly referred to by their French initialisms.

History

The BIPM was created on 20 May 1875, following the signing of the Metre Convention, a treaty among 60 nations (as of August 2018).[3] It is based at the Pavillon de Breteuil in Sèvres, France, a 4.35 ha (10.7-acre) site (originally 2.52 ha (6.2 acres))[4] granted to the Bureau by the French Government in 1876, where it enjoys extraterritorial status,[5][dubious ] a status that was clarified by the French decree No 70-820 of 9 September 1970.[4]

Function

The BIPM has the mandate to provide the basis for a single, coherent system of measurements throughout the world, traceable to the International System of Units (SI). This task takes many forms, from direct dissemination of units (as in the case of mass and time) to coordination through international comparisons of national measurement standards (as in electricity and ionizing radiation).

Following consultation, a draft version of the BIPM work programme is presented at each meeting of the General Conference for consideration with the BIPM dotation. The final programme of work is determined by the CIPM in accordance with the dotation agreed by the CGPM.

Currently, main work of the BIPM include[6]:

  • scientific and technical activities carried out in its four departments: chemistry, ionizing radiation, physical metrology, and time;
  • liaison and coordination work, including providing the secretariat for the CIPM Consultative Committees and some of their Working Groups and for the CIPM MRA, and providing institutional liaison with the other bodies supporting the international quality infrastructure and other international bodies;
  • capacity building and knowledge transfer programs that aim to increase the effectiveness within the world-wide metrology community of those Member State and Associates with emerging metrology systems;
  • a resource center providing database and publications for international metrology.

The BIPM has an important role in maintaining accurate worldwide time of day. It combines, analyses, and averages the official atomic time standards of member nations around the world to create a single, official Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).[7]

The BIPM is also the keeper of the international prototype of the kilogram.[8]

Directors of the BIPM

Since its establishment, the directors of the BIPM have been:[9][10]

Name Country Mandate Notes
Gilbert Govi Italy 1875-1877
J. Pernet Switzerland 1877-1879 Acting director
Ole Jacob Broch Norway 1879-1889
J.-René Benoît France 1889-1915
Charles Édouard Guillaume Switzerland 1915-1936
Albert Pérard France 1936-1951
Charles Volet Switzerland 1951-1961
Jean Terrien France 1962-1977
Pierre Giacomo France 1978-1988
Terry J. Quinn United Kingdom 1988-2003 Honorary director
Andrew J. Wallard United Kingdom 2004-2010 Honorary director
Michael Kühne Germany 2011-2012
Martin J. T. Milton United Kingdom 2013-

See also

References

  1. ^ Pat Naughtin. USMA:36871 Re: Translation of METRO XPO. 29 May 2006. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. ^ Pat Naughtin. USMA:36871 Re: Translation of METRO XPO. 29 May 2006. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Brief history of the SI". BIPM. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  4. ^ a b Page, Chester H; Vigoureux, Paul, eds. (20 May 1975). The International Bureau of Weights and Measures 1875–1975: NBS Special Publication 420. Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Standards. pp. 26–27.
  5. ^ "History of the Pavillon de Breteuil § The BIPM from 1875 to the Present Day". BIPM. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  6. ^ "BIPM - BIPM work programme". www.bipm.org. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  7. ^ "BIPM Time Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)". BIPM. Retrieved 29 December 2013.
  8. ^ "International prototype of the kilogram". BIPM. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Directors of the BIPM since 1875". Bureau International des Poids et Mesures. 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  10. ^ "NPL Fellow, Dr Martin Milton, is new Director at foundation of world's measurement system". QMT News. Quality Manufacturing Today. August 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.

External links

  • BIPM (in English)
  • BIPM (in French)

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