International Bureau of Weights and Measures

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The International Bureau of Weights and Measures (French: Bureau international des poids et mesures), is an international standards organisation, one of three such organisations established to maintain the International System of Units (SI) under the terms of the Metre Convention (Convention du Mètre). The organisation is usually referred to by its French initialism, BIPM.

The other organisations that maintain the SI system, also known by their French initialisms are the General Conference on Weights and Measures (French: Conférence générale des poids et mesures) (CGPM) and the International Committee for Weights and Measures (French: Comité international des poids et mesures) (CIPM).



The BIPM was created on 20 May 1875, following the signing of the Metre Convention, a treaty among 51 nations (as of August 2008).[1] It is based at the Pavillon de Breteuil in Sèvres, France, where it enjoys extraterritorial status.


Under the authority of the Metric Convention, the BIPM helps to ensure uniformity of SI weights and measures around the world. It does so through a series of consultative committees, whose members are the national metrology laboratories of the Convention's member states, and through its own laboratory work.

The BIPM carries out measurement-related research. It takes part in and organises international comparisons of national measurement standards and performs calibrations for member states.

The BIPM has an important role in maintaining accurate worldwide time of day. It combines, analyzes, and averages the official atomic time standards of member nations around the world to create a single, official Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

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