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calibration

In information technology and other fields, calibration is the setting or correcting of a measuring device or base level, usually by adjusting it to match or conform to a dependably known and unvarying measure. For example, the brightness or black level of a video display can be calibrated using a PLUGE pattern .

This was last updated in May 2010

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What is the basis for thinking that you must adjust something to calibrate it? The adjustment is separate from the calibration. You calibrate something to understand how it behaves. If you want it to behave differently, then you adjust it. Two separate things.
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What is meant by calibration?

Calibration means matching the standard value of the instrument to the master (True) Instrument value.

Calibration in measurement technology and metrology is the comparison of measurement values delivered by a device under test with those of a calibration standard of known accuracy. Such a standard could be another measurement device of known accuracy, a device generating the quantity to be measured such as a voltage, or a physical artefact, such as a metre ruler.


Instrument calibration is one of the primary processes used to maintain instrument accuracy. Calibration is the process of configuring an instrument to provide a result for a sample within an acceptable range. Eliminating or minimizing factors that cause inaccurate measurements is a fundamental aspect of instrumentation design.


Although the exact procedure may vary from product to product, the calibration process generally involves using the instrument to test samples of one or more known values called “calibrators.” The results are used to establish a relationship between the measurement technique used by the instrument and the known values. The process in essence “teaches” the instrument to produce results that are more accurate than those that would occur otherwise. The instrument can then provide more accurate results when samples of unknown values are tested in the normal usage of the product.

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