National Physical Laboratory

Quantum Photonics Science + Technology

Excellent science forms the core part of NPL's strategy and underpins all other activities. It is the foundation on which NPL operates and always will be the priority - driving innovation, supporting industry and improving quality of life, both for the UK and internationally.

Latest Science stories

Ever since opening in 1900, NPL has strived to deliver the highest social and economic impact through world-class measurement science, innovative applied research and knowledge services.

NPL maintains a wide portfolio of internationally visible research programmes that advance measurement science, underpin the SI system of measurement units and support various cross-disciplinary technologies.

Outstanding people

Over 500 scientists are employed across almost every discipline, from physicists to biochemists, and mathematicians to materials scientists. These passionate people deliver solutions to a wide range of problems for government, industry and other organisations, often well beyond the scope of measurement science.

World-class facilities

Research activities are housed in a state-of-the-art building providing 36,000 m² of custom-designed laboratories and support facilities. This enables the highest precision measurements to be realised, many of which exploit effects at the atomic level.


Collaboration is fundamental to much of NPL's research and scientists work with UK and international universities, as well as with other National Measurement Institutes and companies, from small start-ups to large multi-national corporations.

For more information on our work with commercial organisations, please visit the Commercial Services pages.

Science quality at NPL is monitored internally by our Chief Scientist, key scientists, and Knowledge Leaders, and externally via regular visits from the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering


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