The Metre Convention

The Metre Convention

Metre Convention (French: Convention du Mètre) was signed in Paris on 20 May 1875 by representatives of 17 nations. Objectives of Metre Convention are coordinating international metrology and the development of the metric system providing the high level of the measurements traceability in the framework of the international measurement system. Initially the international co-operation under the Metre Convention focused on units of mass and length but, in 1921, at the 6th meeting of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM), it was revised and extended to cover all physical measurements. In 1960, at the 11th meetings of the CGPM, the system of units has been established as "International System of Units" (SI). Poland as an independent state accessed to the Metre Convention in 1925. Besides membership, in 1990 the category of associate membership was introduced for those nations that wished to participate in the calibration and measurement aspects of the CIPM Mutual Recognition Agreement (CIPM-MRA) program without taking part in the activities of the BIPM.

Organs of the Metre Convention

  • The General Conference on Weights and Mesures (Conférence générale des poids et mesures or CGPM) is a meeting of delegates from all member states taking place at least one time every six years.
  • The International Committee for Weights and Measures (Comité international des poids et mesures or CIPM) is an advisory body to the CGPM consisting of 18 prominent metrologists from different countries. In its work the CIPM is supported by the Consultative Committees.
  • The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (Bureau international des poids et measures or BIPM) is based at Sèvres, France. It keeps the International Prototype of kilogram, provides metrology services for the CGPM and CIPM, runs the secretariat for these organs and hosts their formal meetings.

The Polish participation in the Metre Convention

The president of GUM represents Poland during the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM). A representative of GUM participates in the terminology works of the BIPM Joint Committees for Guides in Metrology as a member of the Working Group 2. Employees of the GUM's Physical Chemistry Department work under a secondment in the BIPM's laboratories.

International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM)

Representatives of GUM take part as members in the work of Consultative Committees of CIPM (CIPM CC) of Ionizing Radiation, Mass and Related Quantities and Acoustics, Ultrasound and Vibration. The representative of GUM is an observer in the Consultative Committee for amount of Substance.

The representatives of the Central Office of Measures in the CIPM Consultative Committees and its Working Groups

1. CCL Working Group on Dimensional Nanometrology (WG-N),

2. CCRI Section I: X gamma rays, charged particles (CCRI (I)),

3. CCAUV Working Group for Acoustics, Ultrasound and Vibration,

4. CCAUV Working Group for Key Comparisons (CCAUV-KCWG),

5. CCM Consultative Committee for Mass and Related Quantities,

6. CCM Working Group on Fluid Flow (WGFF),

7. CCM Working Group on Hardness (WGH),

8. CCM Working Group on Viscosity (WGV),

9. CCQM Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance: Metrology in Chemistry and Biology,

10. CCQM Working Group on Inorganic Analysis (IAWG),

11. CCQM Working Group on Electrochemical Analysis (EAWG),

12. CCQM Working Group on Gas Analysis (GAWG),

13. JCGM Working Group on the International Vocabulary of Basic and General Terms in Metrology (VIM) (JCGM-WG2).

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