The World Time System
How do countries all keep the same time? Find out about the different time systems and how they all link together.
How do atomic clocks work?
Atomic clocks provide the basis for all precision timekeeping. Discover the science and technology behind the atomic clock.
Why do we need accurate time?
The atomic clocks at NPL provide the most accurate time available. Find out more about why we need accurate timekeeping systems.
MSF radio time signal
The UK time scale
Microwave frequencies provide the standard time for the whole of the UK, and are broadcast via radio signals, telephone lines and the internet.
Synchronise with NPL's atomic clock
You can set up your computer to synchronise with NPL's atomic clock.
Timekeeping is a basic part of everyday life, from checking your watch to using satellite navigation.
NPL's research is at the forefront of new time technologies, while our current atomic clock system keeps time for the whole of the UK.
NPL has a long history of time research, not least of which being that the first caesium atomic clock was built here.
The current atomic clock system at NPL is the basis of UK time, and the cutting-edge research being carried out is working to improve timekeeping accuracy even further.