Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...
Measurement is the process or the result of determining the ratio of a physical quantity, such as a length, time, temperature etc., to a unit of measurement, such as the metre, second or degree Celsius...
. Metrology includes all theoretical and practical aspects of measurement. The word comes from Greek
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...
μέτρον (metron), "measure" + "λόγος" (logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...
), amongst others meaning "speech, oration, discourse, quote, study, calculation, reason". In Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...
the term μετρολογία (metrologia) meant "theory of ratios".
Metrology is defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures
International Bureau of Weights and Measures
The International Bureau of Weights and Measures , is an international standards organisation, one of three such organisations established to maintain the International System of Units under the terms of the Metre Convention...
(BIPM) as "the science of measurement, embracing both experiment
An experiment is a methodical procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results...
al and theoretical
The English word theory was derived from a technical term in Ancient Greek philosophy. The word theoria, , meant "a looking at, viewing, beholding", and referring to contemplation or speculation, as opposed to action...
determinations at any level of uncertainty
Uncertainty is a term used in subtly different ways in a number of fields, including physics, philosophy, statistics, economics, finance, insurance, psychology, sociology, engineering, and information science...
in any field of science and technology." The ontology and international vocabulary of metrology
International vocabulary of metrology
The International vocabulary of metrology is an attempt to find a common language and terminology in metrology, e.g. the science of measurements, across different fields of science, legislature and commerce...
(VIM) is maintained by the International Organisation for Standardisation.
Metrology is a very broad field and may be divided into three subfields:
A core concept in metrology is metrological traceability, defined by the BIPM as "the property of the result of a measurement or the value of a standard whereby it can be related to stated references, usually national or international standards, through an unbroken chain of
comparisons, all having stated uncertainties." The level of traceability establishes the level of comparability of the measurement: whether the result of a measurement can be compared to the previous one, a measurement result a year ago, or to the result of a measurement performed anywhere else in the world.
Traceability refers to the completeness of the information about every step in a process chain.The formal definition: Traceability is the ability to chronologically interrelate uniquely identifiable entities in a way that is verifiable....
is most often obtained by calibration
Calibration is a comparison between measurements – one of known magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device....
, establishing the relation between the indication of a measuring instrument and the value of a measurement standard.