Last Friday was World Metrology Day and – it being our line of work – NPL made a bit of a fuss, asking staff to take photographs of a day at NPL. There are some lovely photographs here, but it was a photo sent to me this morning by a colleague that summed it all up for me:
He wanted to know how well he could trust this duck for determining the temperature of his young daughter’s bath water? And it is this question – How do I know if I can trust a measurement? – that is actually the nub of everything we do at NPL.
So I took a few minutes to advise my colleague about temperature measuring technology, outlining the likely uncertainty of measurement for different thermometers. And the outcome of this is that he may well bring in his duck for calibration. Or alternatively he could of course just use his elbow like his parents did:-)