International Bureau of Weights and Measures
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Metre Convention signatories
|Formation||20 May 1875|
|French and English|
Coordinates: The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (French: Bureau international des poids et mesures) is an intergovernmental organisation  that was established by the Metre Convention, through which member states act together on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards (i.e. the International System of Units). The organisation is commonly referred to by its French initialism, BIPM. The BIPM's secretariat and formal meetings are housed in the organisation's headquarters in Saint-Cloud, France.
The BIPM is supervised by the International Committee for Weights and Measures (French: Comité international des poids et mesures, CIPM), a committee of eighteen members that meet normally biannually[clarification needed], which is in turn overseen by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (French: Conférence générale des poids et mesures, CGPM) that meets in Paris usually once every four years, consisting of delegates of the governments of the Member States and observers from the Associates of the CGPM. These organs are also commonly referred to by their French initialisms.
It is based at the Pavillon de Breteuil in Saint-Cloud, France, a 4.35 ha (10.7-acre) site (originally 2.52 ha or 6.2 acres) granted to the Bureau by the French Government in 1876. Since 1969 the site of the Pavillon de Breteuil is considered international territory and the BIPM has all the rights and privileges accorded to an intergovernmental organisation. The status was further clarified by the French decree No 70-820 of 9 September 1970.
The BIPM has the mandate to provide the basis for a single, coherent system of measurements throughout the world, traceable to the International System of Units (SI). This task takes many forms, from direct dissemination of units to coordination through international comparisons of national measurement standards (as in electricity and ionising radiation).
Following consultation, a draft version of the BIPM Work Programme is presented at each meeting of the General Conference for consideration with the BIPM dotation. The final programme of work is determined by the CIPM in accordance with the dotation agreed by the CGPM.
Currently, main work of the BIPM include:
- scientific and technical activities carried out in its four departments: chemistry, ionising radiation, physical metrology, and time;
- liaison and coordination work, including providing the secretariat for the CIPM Consultative Committees and some of their Working Groups and for the CIPM MRA, and providing institutional liaison with the other bodies supporting the international quality infrastructure and other international bodies;
- capacity building and knowledge transfer programs that aim to increase the effectiveness within the worldwide metrology community of those Member State and Associates with emerging metrology systems;
- a resource centre providing database and publications for international metrology.
The BIPM has an important role in maintaining accurate worldwide time of day. It combines, analyses, and averages the official atomic time standards of member nations around the world to create a single, official Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
|J. Pernet||Switzerland||1877–1879||Acting director|
|Ole Jacob Broch||Norway||1879–1889|
|Charles Édouard Guillaume||Switzerland||1915–1936|
|Terry J. Quinn||United Kingdom||1988–2003||Honorary director|
|Andrew J. Wallard||United Kingdom||2004–2010||Honorary director|
|Martin J. T. Milton||United Kingdom||2013–present|
- History of the metre
- Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
- International Organization for Standardization
- National Institute of Standards and Technology
- Seconds pendulum
- World Metrology Day
- Pellet, Alain (2009). Droit international public. LGDJ. p. 574. ISBN 978-2-275-02390-8.
- Schermers, Henry G. (2018). International Institutional Law. Brill. pp. 302–303. ISBN 978-90-04-38165-0.
- "Brief history of the SI". BIPM. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- Page, Chester H; Vigoureux, Paul, eds. (20 May 1975). The International Bureau of Weights and Measures 1875–1975: NBS Special Publication 420. Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Standards. pp. 26–27.
- "History of the Pavillon de Breteuil". BIPM. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "BIPM: Our work programme". BIPM. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "Time Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)". BIPM. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "Directors of the BIPM since 1875". Bureau International des Poids et Mesures. 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "NPL Fellow, Dr Martin Milton , is new Director at foundation of world's measurement system". QMT News. Quality Manufacturing Today. August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
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