National Physical Laboratory

Open House 2018

Thursday 17 May 2018.

The Measure of All Things

  • Discover the incredible research carried out at NPL
  • Be amazed by the science and technology and how it benefits the UK
  • Meet NPL scientists and visit our world-class laboratories
  • Learn about measurement through hands-on demonstrations
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Measurements are the quantitative way of comparing of one thing with another. The International System of Units, also known as the SI, is the most widely used system of measurement in the world.

The International System of Units is a globally agreed system of measurements originated more than two centuries ago. There are seven base units, which make up the SI, and guide the measurement of quantities like physical size, temperature and time.

As science advances, ever more accurate measurements are both required and achievable. This year four of the standard units of measurements – including the kilogram – are being defined in a new, more accurate way. NPL has led the international research that culminated in this change, and it is expected to be effective from May 2019. Come and find out more about measurement and help us celebrate this scientific achievement.

What to expect

  • The UK's copy of the International Prototype Kilogram and a Kibble balance, which will replace it next year
  • Biometric recognition lab – helping to test biometric systems for both government and industry
  • Optical atomic clocks – showing the development of the next generation in time-keeping

There will be a series of short talks throughout the day on NPL, measurement, different units of measurements and the impact of our science

Come along, meet our scientists and prepare to be amazed at the breadth of our work supporting industry. Or stop by to discuss how we might be able to help your business.

Visitor Guide

An electronic version of the 2018 Visitor Guide is now available. You do not need to print off your own copy, as hard copies will be distributed to all visitors on arrival.


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission