National Physical Laboratory

  • Building a 'Google Earth' of cancer

    NPL is leading a team, chosen by Cancer Research UK in their £100M inaugural Grand Challenge competition, and using their expertise to create a 'Google Earth' view of tumours and helping to beat cancer sooner …

    Grand Challenge

  • New Distinguished Visitor Programme

    NPL is proud to announce Sir Colin Dollery, Simon Devonshire and Professor Ric Parker as the first three NPL Distinguished Visitors ...

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    Recruiting stars

  • NPL Instruments

    Bringing world-class measurement instruments and expertise closer to industry, improving quality, productivity and efficiency ...

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    Recruiting stars

  • NPLTime ®

    A resilient, traceable and certified time distribution service for the financial sector that completely eliminates reliance on GPS …


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  • Recruiting stars

    NPL has ambitious plans for the future. We're looking for talented individuals to help us grow in our priority areas: life sciences, big data, medical physics, quantum technologies, advanced manufacturing and environmental monitoring ...

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    Recruiting stars

  • Nadcap

    Gap Analysis

    Find out how NPL measurement experts can help you meet the new National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (Nadcap) Measurement & Inspection criteria …

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    Jet engine © Ganser

  • Focusing on UTC traceability for the global financial sector, this workshop is for anyone involved in the implementation of MiFID II requirements for time accuracy time compliance and time stamp verification to meet the January 2018 deadline.
  • EMPRESS is a European project with the goal of enhancing process efficiency through improved temperature measurement. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to bring together scientists and engineers from academia, research institutes and industrial establishments to present and discuss both the latest developments in the field of traceable temperature measurement for process control, and end-users' requirements and challenges.
  • NPL is launching a unique calibration service for underwater acoustic autonomous recorders at this hands-on ocean technology exhibition and training forum.

Image gallery

  • The electromagnetic anechoic chamber is used to calibrate antennas at frequencies up to 18GHz. The room is specially designed to absorb any and all electromagnetic waves, allowing precise measurements to be made without interference.
  • The NPL apparatus for single molecule imaging. By using three lasers (red, green and blue) we can use three different colours of fluorescence, enabling us to monitor up to three different types of molecule in the same experiment.
  • The UV Dosimeter, created by scientists at NPL, helps to minimise the risk of ultraviolet treatment by measuring the dose given as accurately as possible. UV treatment is used for skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) measures the temperatures and heat flow in materials as a function of time and temperature, providing information about physical and chemical changes that involve a change in heat capacity or external temperature.
  • A polyurethane tile developed as an acoustic absorber for sonar frequency water tanks. The tile, developed through proof-of-concept funding, has properties which make it very absorbing and minimally reflective to water-borne sound above a frequency of 20 kHz.
  • This strontium end cap ion trap could redefine the way that the world measures the second. Current time measurements are made using caesium fountain clocks, but the team working on the ion trap clocks estimate that they could measure time up to 1000 times more accurately.


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