Dimensional Metrology is the science of calibrating and using measuring equipment to determine the physical size or distance from an object. Inspection is a critical step in product development and quality control. Dimensional Metrology requires the use of a variety of physical scales to determine dimension, with the most accurate of these being laser interferometers and encoders. The realization of dimension using these accurate scale technologies is the end goal of dimensional metrologists.
Metrologists perform metrology work involving precision measurement and comparison of physical quantities such as length, mass, time, force, speed, voltage and current. They calibrate precision equipment which measures these physical units. They also certify that outside standards of such quantities are correct. Congress has authorized the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to set the standards of all physical quantities in the United States. [NIST was formerly called the National Bureau of Standards].