National Physical Laboratory


These resources are designed as a quick introduction to a subject that you can read online or download.

If you have any other general questions about measurement you can try our Frequently Asked Questions area or contact us

  • An introduction to acoustics, the name given to that branch of science that deals with sound.
  • An introduction to atomic timekeeping, the most accurate clocks in the Universe.
  • An introduction to biotechnology, the collection of technologies that enable us to manipulate living organisms or their sub-cellular components to develop useful products, processes or services.
  • An introduction to colour and how to measure it.
  • Measurement science is changing and becoming more complex, and these days, mathematics and software are having an increasingly important role to play.
  • In 1905 Albert Einstein, a lowly 26 year old clerk in the Swiss patent office, published papers that changed the way we see the whole universe.
  • An introduction to electricity the most commonly used form of energy for tasks ranging from simple heating and lighting to the powering of computers for the most complex of applications.
  • An introduction to the history of length measurement.
  • An introduction to ionising radiation.
  • An introduction to length. The way we have defined and measured length has taken many forms throughout history.
  • An introduction to light measured in candela.
  • An introduction to mass. The kilogram is the SI unit for measuring mass.
  • An introduction to materials measurement.
  • An introduction to nanotechnology, a compilation of technologies researching the ability to control or manipulate matter, structures and systems on the atomic and molecular scale.
  • An introduction to temperature measurement.
  • An introduction to traceability and uncertainty. One way of ensuring that your measurements are accurate is by tracing them back to national standards.
  • An overview of the seven SI base units of measurement.


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