National Physical Laboratory

Quantum Metrology Institute Quantum Metrology Institute

Providing the measurement expertise and facilities needed to underpin the development of quantum technologies.

Quantum technologies

Quantum technologies are based on the properties of atoms, electrons and photons of everyday objects. 'Quantum' refers to the minimum amount of a physical entity. A photon is a quantum, for example, as it is the smallest divisible unit of light: a single light particle.

Quantum physics describes the behaviour of small particles, including photons, as well as atoms, ions and electrons. The wave-like behaviour of quantum systems gives rise to many interesting properties that can be exploited in areas such as computing, communication and timing.

These fundamental particles can provide unchanging standards to use for measurement and their 'quantum' behaviour can potentially create a completely new class of advanced sensors and systems, with radically new capabilities for timing and navigation, communications, computing and other critical applications.

Several research groups at NPL are currently working on advancing quantum technologies. New investments are building on NPL's expertise to enhance the UK's capabilities in developing and applying these exciting technologies.

Quantum Technologies Programme Logo

NPL participates in the UK National Quantum Technologies (UKNQT) Programme, formed through the £270 million announced by government in the 2013 Autumn Statement.

The Institute provides the measurement expertise and facilities needed to underpin the £270M government investment in quantum technologies. 

The Quantum Metrology Institute brings together all of NPL's leading-edge quantum science and metrology research and provides the expertise and facilities needed for academia and industry to test, validate, and ultimately commercialise new quantum research and technologies.

The Institute provides the measurement expertise and facilities needed to underpin the National Quantum Technologies Programme, in which the government has invested £270m.

By bringing together industry engineers, academic researchers, and NPL scientists in a highly collaborative environment, the QMI plays a key role in the creation of a UK industry based on quantum technologies.

Vision for quantum metrology at NPL

Quantum phenomena are set to change the world around us. The QMI at NPL will be a leading centre for quantum metrology in Europe, collaborating with academic partners, government and industry to advance scientific discovery in quantum physics and materials. We deliver world-class research based on quantum phenomena for future generation SI standards and enable the translation of quantum technologies and materials into practical applications, accelerating the commercialisation of new products based on quantum systems.

Quantum Industry Engagement Recommendations Report

Recommendations from industry for encouraging greater industry engagement and investment into quantum technologies.

Download the report


Superconducting Quantum Computing Report

This report makes the case for a coordination of expertise and facilities to support the delivery of superconducting quantum computing capability within the UK.

Download the report


Quantum Metrology Institute Annual Report 2018

This report discusses the scientific and technological successes of the Quantum Metrology Institute since it was established in 2015.

Download the report


Insights - Issue 6 - Quantum [news thumbnail]This edition of Insights examines how government funding and strategic partnerships are helping to translate quantum research from the laboratory into successful commercial technologies, which will help maintain the UK's leading position in the field.

Read more about quantum technologies in Insights

Quantum showcase

The 4th annual Quantum Showcase takes place on Friday 9 November at the QE11 Centre in London.

The showcase will demonstrate the fantastic breadth of quantum activity taking place across the country that has resulted from the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Find out more about what NPL will be demonstrating at the showcase.

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