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June 1959, Vol. 3 1 , No. 6 APPLIED J O U R N A L S , ACS 1 1 5 5 Sixteenth St., N . W . Washington 6 , D. C. Director

of Publications,


Director, Walter J . Murphy

Executive Editor, Production

C. B. Larrabee

James M . Crowe


Joseph H. Kuney

A N A L Y T I C A L CHEMISTRY Editor, L a w r e n c e T. Hallett Managing Editor, Robert G . G i b b s EDITORIAL HEADQUARTERS W A S H I N G T O N 6 , D. C. 1155 Sixteenth St., N.W. Teletype W A 2 3 Phone REpublic 7 - 3 3 3 7 Associate Editors: G . Gladys Gordon, Stella A n d e r s o n , K a t h e r i n e I . Biggs Assistant Editors: Robert J . Riley, Robert J . K e l l e y , Ruth M . H o w o r t h , Eugenia K e l l e r , Sue M . S o l l i d a y , M a l v i n a B. Preiss, Ruth Reynard Editorial Assistants: Katherine H. G i n n a n e , V i r g i n i a E. Stewart Layout and Production: M e l v i n D. Buckner ( A r t ) ; Paul B a r c h o w s k y , Betty V . Kieffer, Roy F. N a s h , Clarence L. R a k o w BRANCH EDITORIAL OFFICES C H I C A G O 3 , ILL. Room 926 3 6 South W a b a s h A v e . Phone STate 2 - 5 1 4 8 Teletype CG 725 Associate Editors: Howard J . Sanders, Chester Placek, Laurence J . W h i t e HOUSTON 2 , TEX. 718 Melrose Bldg. Phone F A i r f a x 3 - 7 1 0 7 Associate Editor: Assistant Editor:

Teletype H O 7 2

Bruce F. Greek Earl V . Anderson

NEW Y O R K 1 6 , Ν . Υ .

2 Park Ave. Phone O R e g o n 9 - 1 6 4 6 Teletype NY 1-4726 Associate Editors: William Q. Hull, Harry Stenerson, D a v i d M . K i e f e r , D. G r a y W e a v e r , W a l t e r S. Fedor Assistant Editor: Louis A . Agnello S A N FRANCISCO 4 , CALIF. 7 0 3 M e c h a n i c s ' Institute B l d g . 5 7 Post St. Phone EXbrook 2 - 2 8 9 5 Teletype SF 5 4 9 Associate Editors: D a v i d E. G u s h e e

Richard G . N e w h a l l ,

EASTON, P A . 2 0 t h a n d N o r t h a m p t o n Sts. Phone BLackburn 8 - 9 1 1 1 Teletype ESTN Pa 7 0 4 8 Associate Editor: Charlotte C. Sayre Editorial Assistants: Joyce A . Richards Elizabeth R. Rufe, Carol D. Pierce EUROPEAN OFFICE Bush H o u s e , A l d w y c h , L o n d o n Phone Temple Bar 3 6 0 5 Cable JIECHEM Associate Editor: A l b e r t S. Hester Contributing


R. H. Müller

Advisory Board: R. M . Archibald, W . H . Beamer, F. E. Beamish, H . G . Cassidy, W . D. Cooke, J . I. Hoffman, M . T. Kelley, C . L. Luke, W . M . M a c N e v i n , W . J . M a d e r , John Mitchell, Jr., N . H. Nachtrieb, E. J . Rosenb a u m , R. G . Russell, F. H. Stross Advertising Management: REINHOLD PUBLISHING CORP. (For Branch Offices see p a g e 121 A)

Standardizing Analytical Instrumentation Russia achieves standardization by fiat; U. S. can attain goal by voluntary cooperation

As working temperatures go up and up into the thousands of degrees range, as pressures go up to the million-pound range, and as the whole tempo of scientific research increases, the need for measuring these physical properties accurately has become acute. The problem is twofold. One is to develop methods, equipment, and instruments to do the job. The second is to calibrate the instruments so that results obtained in different laboratories are comparable. The first can be solved in large part by trained technical personnel plus sufficient expenditure of time and money. The second can be accomplished by laws which arbitrarily assign the responsibility to a government agency and which require all producers of instruments to conform to specifications set forth by this agency. The same results can be accomplished by a cooperative program between government, groups involved in standardization, and manufacturers of instruments. In the Soviet Union, standardization is accomplished by government edict. According to Allen V. Astin, director of the National Bureau of Standards, in a speech before the Scientific Apparatus Makers Association, the Russians have a highly-developed and rigidly-controlled network of 139 calibration centers under five major research laboratories. The Committee of Standards and Measures, which is in charge of this system, answers directly to the Council of Ministers. This procedure assures that specifications are uniform and that all instruments are calibrated on a uniform basis. Much can be done and is being done in the U. S. on a voluntary basis or in response to demands of users of scientific equipment. The National Bureau of Standards, for example, by law is designated as the government agency responsible for preparing and maintaining basic standards of measurement. NBS cooperates with manufacturers, standardizing groups, other government agencies, and industry in making these available. I t does so by calibrating items such as thermometers, balance weights, voltmeters, potentiometers, and other basic instruments against the national standards. NBS also prepares a wide array of standard samples. These reference standards, in turn, are used as the basis for calibrating working standards. The military establishment generally requires that its precision instruments all be calibrated in this way. Thus, there is an unbroken chain of calibration checks from the national standards down to the instruments on the firing line. Many industrial organizations similarly have reference instruments checked against NBS national standards. There are, however, many manufacturers of instrumentation who do not follow this practice. Users of such instruments, therefore, who are not in a position to test them, can not be sure of the results they get. In other areas, there have not been satisfactory standards. NBS, for example, at its Boulder, Colo, laboratories is now developing high frequency and microwave standards. In areas where inadequate standards exist, or where manufacturers are not using existing standards as effectively as they might, a more extensive cooperative program among NBS, standardizing societies, and manufacturers is in order. V O L . 3 1 , N O . 6 , JUNE 1 9 5 9


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