For the ITS10, we are instituting a first memorial lecture in honor of James Franklin Schooley (August 24, 1931 – April 18, 2020), a distinguished chemist who spent his career at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Schooley was an accomplished and prolific writer, researcher, leader, and editor. He is honored with a photo in the NIST Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Scientists, Engineers, and Administrators with the following citation:

For outstanding technical contributions and exceptional leadership as a pre-eminent research scientist and leader for NBS/NIST both in the laboratory and at the Division Chief level. His research work in temperature helped form the basis for International Temperature Scale of 1990 and his leadership activities helped make NBS/NIST a leader in temperature-based metrology. “

A public version of his Portrait Gallery entry can be found at the NIST Digital Archives.

James F. Schooley graduated from Indiana University in 1953 with a degree in chemistry with honors conveyed by Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most widely recognized academic honor society in the United States. He was both a top scholar and an elite athlete, having played on Indiana U’s championship basketball team. After his graduation, Schooley joined the United State Air Force where the nature of his duties allowed him an opportunity to earn a doctorate degree in Nuclear Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

James F Schooley Schooley came to work at the Gaithersburg campus of what was then called the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in 1960. His mentor at the time was Dr. Ernest Ambler, a condensed matter researcher who later became the 8th director of NBS, presiding during its transition to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as it is known today. Schooley embarked on a research path that started with the low-temperature properties of strontium titanate (SrTiO3), studying the material’s unusual transition from a semiconductor to a superconductor at 0.35 K. From there he began work on superconducting transition fixed points, developing the first such standard reference material of pure metal samples suitable for use in establishing temperature scales below 10 K (SRM 767). His work on strontium titanate led to an award of U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) Silver Medal in 1968. His work on the SRM 767 led to the award of the Commerce DOC Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement in 1979.

Closer to the end of his professional career at NIST, Schooley embarked on a highly ambitious project to conduct constant volume gas thermometry into a very challenging range of temperatures up to 660 °C. This was something that had been attempted by others before, but Schooley knew that a platinum alloy gas bulb was required to provide the required chemical and mechanical stability for the duration of the experiment. He constructed his platinum bulb and the other components to perform the gas thermometry and published the resulting data in 1989. The largest correction to the data was due to the thermal expansion of the platinum bulb (about 2% at 660 °C). Although literature values for the coefficient of expansion were generally deemed reliable, Schooley want to measure this for himself using 80% Pt-20% Rh specimens taken from his actual gas bulb. Schooley and his NIST colleague R.E. Edsinger built a high-accuracy dilatometer based on a Fizeau interferometer, two different versions of which gave consistent results with uncertainties near 4 mm/m in the expansion of the heated Pt-Rh alloy specimens. The results of those thermodynamic temperature realizations were incorporated in the formulation of the current International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90).

Schooley served as both the Program Committee Chair and Editor in Chief for the 6th International Temperature Symposium (ITS6) held in Washington DC in 1982. He again served in this same capacity for the ITS7, held in Toronto Canada in 1992. Working in his editorial capacity, Schooley was committed to excellence in the publication of the Proceedings for both of these Symposia, “Temperature, Its Measurement and Control in Science and Industry.” He was known to personally edit each and every manuscript received and accepted for the Proceedings, rewriting passages as necessary until his standard of scholarly exposition could be met. This level of editorial commitment was extremely rare for any Conference Proceedings of that era or ever since. It was this extraordinary level of commitment that set Schooley apart and resulted in the published proceedings for the ITS having writing quality equivalent to that of any archival scientific journal.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Schooley was a devoted husband, father, and a part-time farmer who was well known in agricultural circles in his Montgomery County Maryland community. He was also a dedicated humanitarian, who along with his wife Mary Alice Hevron, served as foster parents for 15 children while raising seven children of their own.

We are pleased to announce the Plenary presentation for this first James F. Schooley Honorary Lecture will be presented by Dr Graham Machin, of the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, England. The abstract for his presentation is shown here below.

Progress with realizing the redefined kelvin

Graham Machin1, Mohamed Sadli2, Jost Engert3, Jonathan Pearce1, Roberto Gavioso4
1National Physical Laboratory (NPL), UK; 2Laboratoire commun de metrologie, (LNE-Cnam), France, 3Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany, 4Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM), Italy

In May 2019 four of the base units of the international system of units (the SI) were redefined in terms of fundamental constants [1]. From that point on the SI was based on atomic properties (the second), fundamental constants (the metre, the kilogram, the ampere, the kelvin, the mole) or a conventional constant (the candela). The kelvin was redefined in terms of the Boltzmann constant k [2, 3] concluding over a decade of effort by the international thermometry community to redetermine k with low uncertainty [4].

Accompanying the redefinition were practical guides whose purpose was to guide the user from the definition of the unit to a practical realization. For the kelvin this document was known as the mise en pratique for the definition of the kelvin [5] and was designated MeP-K-19 to identify that the 2019 version of the MeP-K was in force from the time of the redefinition.

The kelvin redefinition, and the associated MeP-K, stimulated new opportunities for realization and dissemination of the temperature unit. Presently most of temperature traceability is provided through the defined scales; either the International Temperature Scale of 1990 [6] or the Provisional Low Temperature Scale of 2000 [7], but in the future temperature traceability, directly to the kelvin definition, is likely to become more widespread [3, 8].

Here we describe the progress made in realizing some of the primary thermometry approaches promoted in the MeP– K-19 that could be used for providing direct traceability to the kelvin. This will be done in the context of the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) research project “Realizing the Redefined Kelvin” (Real-K) 1 though other work in the field, where relevant, will also be introduced. The impact of these developments on traceability to the kelvin will be discussed, as will the emergence of in-situ traceability through practical primary thermometry and self-calibrating thermometers [8].

[1] Mohr, P. J., et al Metrologia 55 125-146 (2018)
[2] Machin, G., Phil. Trans R. Soc. A. 374: 2015.0053, (2016)
[3] Machin, G., Meas. Sci. Technol. 29 022001 (11pp) (2018)
[4] Fischer, J., et al, Metrologia 55, R1-R20, (2018)
[5] Fellmuth, B., et al Phil. Trans R. Soc. A. 374: 20150037 (2016)
[6] Preston-Thomas, H., Metrologia 27 3–10, corr p. 127, (1990)
[7] Rusby, R. L., et al, J. Low. Temp. Phys. 126 633–42 (2002)
[8] Pearce, J., et al UKACC 13th International Conference on Control, UK p.102-107: DOI: (2022)