An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998

Board on Assessment of NIST Programs

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C.
1998



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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 Board on Assessment of NIST Programs Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1998

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study was supported by Contract No. 50SBNB8C1003 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Additional copies of this report are available from: Board on Assessment of NIST Programs National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 BOARD ON ASSESSMENT OF NIST PROGRAMS LINDA CAPUANO, AlliedSignal Aerospace, Chair RADFORD BYERLY, JR., University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (retired) ALEXANDER MacLACHLAN, DuPont Company (retired) KENNETH F. REINSCHMIDT, Consultant, Littleton, Massachusetts HARVEY W. SCHADLER, General Electric Corporate Research and Development (retired) LOUISE H. TREVILLYAN, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center Ex Officio Members THOMAS L. ANDERSON, Fluor Daniel Hanford, Inc. DAVID A. AUSTON, Rice University HARRY E. COOK, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ARLENE A. GARRISON, University of Tennessee LOU ANN HEIMBROOK, Lucent Technologies BRIAN W. KERNIGHAN, Lucent Technologies RICHARD E. NANCE, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University JAMES E. NOTTKE, Pont Company (retired) V. THOMAS RHYNE, Independent Consultant, Austin, Texas ROSE A. RYNTZ, Visteon Liaison Members WILLIAM BROWDER, Princeton University RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania Board Staff DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director ELIZABETH L. GROSSMAN, Program Officer BARBARA JONES, Administrative Assistant

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS ROBERT J. HERMAN, United Technologies Corporation, Co-Chair W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-Chair PETER M. BANKS, ERIM International, Inc. WILLIAM BROWDER, Princeton University LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University JOHN E. ESTES, University of California, Santa Barbara MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, Elf Atochem North America, Inc. JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University CAROL M. JANTZEN, Westinghouse Savannah River Company PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc. KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California, Los Angeles DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN R. KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory CHANG-LIN TIEN, University of California, Berkeley NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 Preface This volume represents the 39th annual assessment of the technical quality and relevance of the programs of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (and its predecessor agency, the National Bureau of Standards) by the National Research Council (NRC). This ongoing assessment is one means NIST utilizes to assure the quality of the work it performs for the U.S. taxpayer. This volume is the work of 146 volunteer members of the NRC's Board on Assessment of NIST Programs and its panels. These members were chosen by the NRC for their technical expertise, their practical experience in running research programs, and their knowledge of industry's needs in basic measurements and standards. Each has given of his or her time without remuneration to participate in this assessment process. As a new member of this process, I am very impressed by the dedication that all parties involved have shown to it. I wish to thank, first of all, the volunteers who left busy jobs and schedules behind for several days to give their services to this review. Their willingness to participate is an indication of the importance they attach to NIST and its programs. I also wish to thank the members of the NIST staff who spent so much time preparing materials on their programs to inform the Board and its panels on their recent progress and current status. The NIST director deserves our appreciation for the time he gave to this process and for the free access he gave us to all information necessary for our assessment. In carrying out this assessment, the Board and panels sought to meet the specific charge given by NIST and reproduced in Appendix C. I hope that the readers of this report find it to be fully responsive to that charge and that those with responsibility for and oversight of NIST programs will find this report to be a useful tool in efforts to continually improve the programs of that respected institution. Linda Capuano, Chair Board on Assessment of NIST Programs

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Andreas Acrivos, City University of New York, Willis A. Adcock, University of Texas at Austin, Ronald G. Askin, University of Arizona, Peter J. Bickel, University of California, Berkeley, James B. Comly, General Electric Corporate Research and Development, Lynn A. Conway, University of Michigan, Ronald G. Douglas, Texas A&M University, Howard W. Emmons, Harvard University, Kenneth F. Galloway, Vanderbilt University, Serge Gratch, GMI Engineering and Management Institute, Paul R. Gray, University of California, Berkeley, Robert E. Green, Jr., Johns Hopkins University, Klaus B. Jaeger, Lockheed Missiles and Space, Melvin F. Kanninen, MFK Consulting Services, Wolfgang Ketterle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Richard I. Knight, SARIS, John R. Kreick, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company, M. Ross Leadbetter, University of North Carolina, Edwin N. Lightfoot, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Christopher L. Magee, Ford Motor Company, John L. Mason, AlliedSignal, Inc., Bryant Mather, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Richard C. Messinger, Cincinnati Milacron, Inc., Royce Murray, University of North Carolina, Irene C. Peden, University of Washington, Alton D. Slay, Slay Enterprises, Hans O. Spauschus, Spauschus Associates, Inc., Robert F.C. Vessot, Harvard University, Arthur W. Westerberg, Carnegie Mellon University, and Forman Williams, University of California, San Diego. Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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