There are many skills involved in performing measurements, some obvious, some subtle. People who do it seriously are called metrologists. Everyone is involved with measurements, however.
Even the non-specialist can benefit by understanding more than the rudiments of those measurements that affect them most.
It can be an exciting and interesting way to really get to know the world, learning about it, or parts of it in depth. That motivation seem to be the driving force behind all scientists and most engineers; to learn things and know them in detail.
For scientists and engineers, measurement and measurement devices are the only way to analyze, explore, probe, study and discover the truth about details not readily obvious.
The development of measurement science and measurement devices is the story of civilization’s rise from the stone age to the modern age. The measurement devices just kept getting better and better. Along with it our knowledge of our world expands even faster.
Without good measurements we would still be without electricity, wireless communications, and many of the things that we take for granted. Technology is another word for the results of theories proven by measurement.
We don’t hear much about the many more theories that didn’t prove to work, but there are more of them than proven ones. The proof and disproof depends upon measurements.
I hope this short explanation encourages some of the visitors here to look further into measurement technology and/or to better appreciate the depth and magnitude required to gain substantive knowledge about some important aspects of their lives. There’s plenty of good information on and off the Web (like in the virtual and physical libraries of the world in technical and scientific journals and in real books) that can make the tasks easier, to some, and exciting to others.
There are some excellent reviews of the history of measurement available on the Web. One published and online is in an article on calibration of optical power meters in the August 1998 H-P Journal, Units, Traceability, and Calibration of Optical Instruments by Andreas Gerster. It is available as about a 141KB download in pdf format (Still in October 201!3)
The rest of this site is aimed at making the tasks of finding Web-based information about measurement devices and their selection, use, care and understanding a bit easier.
Copyright © G.R. Peacock 1998, 1999, 2007 All rights reserved.