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Measurement Science and Technology celebrates its centenary

Launched in 1923 as Journal of Scientific Instruments, this was the world’s first scientific instrumentation and measurement journal

2 minute read

For 100 years the journal has been reporting developments in scientific instrumentation and accurate measurement.

The original concept for a journal on scientific instrumentation was suggested by Sir Richard Glazebrook, the first NPL Director. It was adopted by the Institute of Physics who launched Journal of Scientific Instruments in 1923 with NPL providing editorial staff for the journal. Journal of Scientific Instruments was merged with the British Journal of Applied Physics in 1968 to form Journal of Physics E and then renamed Measurement Science and Technology in 1990.

Today, this peer reviewed journal, published monthly by IOP Publishing, covers the areas of measurement, instrumentation and sensor technology across physical, chemical and life sciences. The Editorial board is international with representatives from several national metrology labs as well as universities, research institutes and industry across the world.

This year, as the journal enters its second century, the editorial board decided to look back at some of the leading research from the first issue and see how it relates to current developments in measurement science. To celebrate its centenary, the journal’s editorial board have commissioned a series of articles to be published throughout the year that present contemporary work related to articles published in the first volume. The articles will cover a broad range of areas including particle image velocimetry, photon pressure, physiology, optical fibre sensors, data fitting, developments in astronomical measurements and photoelectric metrology.

A centenary logo has been produced depicting a mass balance with a pan on one side and a coil on the other representing the developments in mass metrology over the journal’s history. Developments in mass metrology exemplify progress in metrology during the intervening years since the journal was first published. The first volume of Journal of Scientific Instruments contained articles by Flinders Petrie on the Chain balance and staff at the General Electric Company on measuring milligram masses. Today traceability for mass metrology is realised through Kibble balances (names after their inventor, NPL scientist Bryan Kibble) via the Planck constant, to the metre and the second.

NPL proudly continues its association with Measurement Science and Technology both by publishing work in the journal and contributing to the editorial board; the current editor in Chief is Andrew Yacoot from NPL’s Dimensional Metrology Group.  

The rapid pace of technological advancements, including digitalisation of our modern world, brings a range of measurement challenges requiring high speed accurate metrology. Throughout the year, in Measurement Science and Technology, will present the latest scientific results aiming to address some of these challenges.

Figure 1 Centenary logo for Measurement Science and Technology

28 Feb 2023