A Century of Excellence in Measurements, Standards, and Technology

1st Edition

David R. Lide

CRC Press
Published April 16, 2018
Reference - 396 Pages
ISBN 9781315890296 - CAT# K347348

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Summary

Established by Congress in 1901, the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has a long and distinguished history as the custodian and disseminator of the United States' standards of physical measurement. Having reached its centennial anniversary, the NBS/NIST reflects on and celebrates its first century with this book describing some of its seminal contributions to science and technology. Within these pages are 102 vignettes that describe some of the Institute's classic publications. Each vignette relates the context in which the publication appeared, its impact on science, technology, and the general public, and brief details about the lives and work of the authors.

The groundbreaking works depicted include:

  • A breakthrough paper on laser-cooling of atoms below the Doppler limit, which led to the award of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics to William D. Phillips
  • The official report on the development of the radio proximity fuse, one of the most important new weapons of World War II
  • The 1932 paper reporting the discovery of deuterium in experiments that led to Harold Urey's1934 Nobel Prize for Chemistry
  • A review of the development of the SEAC, the first digital computer to employ stored programs and the first to process images in digital form
  • The first paper demonstrating that parity is not conserved in nuclear physics, a result that shattered a fundamental concept of theoretical physics and led to a Nobel Prize for T. D. Lee and C. Y. Yang
  • "Observation of Bose-Einstein Condensation in a Dilute Atomic Vapor," a 1995 paper that has already opened vast new areas of research
  • A landmark contribution to the field of protein crystallography by Wlodawer and coworkers on the use of joint x-ray and neutron diffraction to determine the structure of proteins
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