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National Institute of Standards and Technology

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency in the Technology Administration of the United States Department of Commerce that aims to promote United States economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards. It was originally called the National Bureau of Standards (NBS).

NIST published the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), and oversees the Data Encryption Standard and the Advanced Encryption Standard. Its headquarters are located in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

They are also responsible for the dissemination of time signals via shortwave radio stations WWV and WWVH, and longwave WWVB.

Apart from these "official" tasks, the NIST, especially its labs at Boulder, Colorado also engages in fundamental scientific research, mainly in physics.

Two researchers at NIST were awarded Nobel prizes for their work in Boulder, namely William D. Phillips and Eric A. Cornell.

NIST is currently developing government-wide identification card standards for federal employees and contractors to prevent terrorists, criminals and other unauthorized people from getting into government buildings and computer systems.

See also: standardization, calibration, traceability, measurement.

External links

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology website
  • NIST Boulder

Last updated: 02-26-2005 12:51:44