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Precision Measurement and Calibration

Selected NBS Papers on

Statistical Concepts and Procedures

Harry H. Ku, Editor

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This volume is one of an extended series which brings together
the previously published papers, monographs, abstracts, and bibliog-
raphies by NBS authors dealing with the precision measurement of
specific physical quantities and the calibration of the related metrol-
ogy equipment. The contents have been selected as being useful
to the standards laboratories of the United States in tracing to
NBS standards the accuracies of measurement needed for research
work, factory production, or field evaluation.

Volume 1 deals with methodology in the generation, analysis,
and interpretation of precision measurement data. It contains 40
reprints assembled in 6 sections: 1) The Measurement Process
2) Design of Experiments in Calibration 3) Interlaboratory Tests
4) Functional Relationships 5) Statistical Treatment of Measure-
ment Data 6) Miscellaneous. Each section is introduced by an inter-
pretive foreword, and the whole is supplemented by abstracts and
selected references.

Key Words: Accuracy; analysis of measurement data;
design of experiments; functional relationships; inter-
laboratory tests; measurement process; precision; statis-
tical concepts in measurements; systematic error.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 68-60042


In the 1950's the tremendous increase in industrial activity, particularly in the missile and satellite fields, led to an unprecedented demand for precision measurement, which, in turn, brought about the establishment of hundreds of new standards laboratories. To aid these laboratories in transmitting the accuracies of the national standards to the shops of industry, NBS in 1959 gathered together and reprinted a number of technical papers by members of its staff describing methods of precision measurement and the design and calibration of standards and instruments. These reprints, representing papers written over a period of several decades, were published as NBS Handbook 77, Precision Measurement and Calibration, in three volumes: Electricity and Electronics; Heat and Mechanics; Optics, Metrology, and Radiation.

Some of the papers in Handbook 77 are still useful, but new theoretical knowledge, improved materials, and increasingly complex experimental techniques have so advanced the art and science of measurement that a new compilation has become necessary. The present volume is part of a new reprint collection, designated NBS Special Publication 300, which has been planned to fill this need. Besides previously published papers by the NBS staff, the collection includes selected abstracts by both NBS and non-NBS authors. It is hoped that SP 300 will serve both as a textbook and as a reference source for the many scientists and engineers who fill responsible positions in standards laboratories.

A. V. Astin, Director


The general plan for this compilation has been reviewed by the Information Committee of the National Conference of Standards Laboratories. The plan calls for Special Publication 300 to be published in 12 volumes having the following titles and editors:

Statistical Concepts and Procedures, H. H. Ku
Frequency and Time, A. H. Morgan

Electricity—Low Frequency, F. L. Hermach and R. F. Dziuba
Electricity—Radio Frequency, A. J. Estin
Heat, D. C. Ginnings
Temperature, J. F. Swindells
Mechanics, R. L. Bloss

Dimensional Metrology—Length and Angle, H. K. Hammond, III
Radiometry and Photometry, H. K. Hammond, III
Colorimetry and Image Optics, H. K. Hammond, III
Spectrochemical Analysis, B. F. Scribner
Ionizing Radiation, E. H. Eisenhower

This division of subject matter has been chosen to assure knowledgeable selection of context rather than to attain uniform size. It is believed, however, that the larger volumes, of approximately 600 pages, will still be small enough for convenient handling in the laboratory.

The compilation consists primarily of original papers by NBS authors which have been reprinted by photoreproduction, with occasional updating of graphs or numerical data when this has appeared desirable. In addition, some important publications by non-NBS authors that are too long to be included, are represented by abstracts or references; the abstracts are signed by the individuals who wrote them, unless written by the author.

Each volume has a subject index and author index, and within each volume, contents are grouped by subtopics to facilitate browsing. Many entries follow the recent Bureau practice of assigning several key words or phrases to each document; these may be collated with titles in the index. Pagination is continuous within the volume, the page numbers in the original publications also being retained and combined with the volume page numbers, for example 100-10. The index notation 1-133 refers to volume 1, page 133 of this volume. A convenient list of SI (Systeme International) physical units and a conversion table are to be found inside the back cover.

The publications listed herein for which a price is indicated are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. 20402 (foreign postage, one-fourth additional). Many documents in the various NBS nonperiodical series are also available from the NBS Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, Springfield, Va. 22151. Reprints from the NBS Journal of Research or from non-NBS journals may sometimes be obtained directly from an author.

Suggestions as to the selection of papers which should be included in future editions will be welcome. Current developments in measurement technology at NBS are covered in annual seminars held at either the Gaithersburg (Maryland) or the Boulder (Colorado) laboratories. These developments are summarized, along with a running list of publications by NBS authors, in the monthly NBS Technical News Bulletin.

H. L. Mason,

Office of Measurement Services
NBS Institute for Basic Standards.

Editor's Note

This volume deals with methodology in the generation, analysis, and interpretation of precision measurement data. It is a collection of papers that have been found useful to the measurement fraternity, as represented by participants in the annual NBS seminars on Precision and Accuracy in Measurement and Calibration. The main criterion used in selection was ease of communication; that is, whether the author's message gets across to the general reader, so that he can develop the idea for gainful application in his own specialized area.

The volume contains reprints of 40 papers on statistical concepts and procedures classified in six sections. Four works too long to be included here are represented by titles and abstracts in Section 7. The interpretive foreword appearing at the beginning of each of the first six sections comments on the individual papers and thus characterizes the particular section. The index has been prepared to facilitate browsing. Paper 6.8 provides a list of selected references, annotated for the reader's convenience. Some of these are referred to in the various forewords.

I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to Churchill Eisenhart and to members of the Statistical Engineering Laboratory for their suggestions in selection of papers, and for their help in the preparation of this volume.

Thanks are also due to publishers of non-NBS papers for permission to reprint in this volume papers by D. B. De Lury, William H. Kruskal, R. B. Murphy, Milton Terry, and E. Bright Wilson, Jr.

Harry H. Ku, Editor


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