National Physical Laboratory

Mathematics & Modelling for Metrology


The overall aim of the government-supported NMS programmes is to provide and develop, at the national level, an infrastructure that ensures measurement in the UK is valid, fit for purpose, consistent and internationally recognised.

Mathematics & Modelling for Metrology (MMM) is an programme that underpins the NMS, focusing on the use of mathematics and computing in metrology. It aims to achieve a balance between research and development, whilst also extending the range of techniques and applications available to meet the continually changing needs of metrology.

The results of the programme are promulgated through the reports, published papers, best and good practice guides (available from the NPL website), newsletters, workshops, presentations and other awareness activities, and of course through the support that the team give to other parts of the NMS. Solutions to problems specific to one field of measurement are generalised to provide techniques that are more widely applicable. The programme also delivers some trial software implementations of appropriate algorithms to demonstrate the feasibility of the techniques being advocated and some algorithms for inclusion in its metrology software library.

Formulating this programme identified:

  • relevant problems that providers of metrology services require to be solved, to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the metrology services in meeting the evolving needs of their users in industry;
  • where guidance, training or other solutions are feasible to meet these requirements in ways that are applicable to a number of NMS programmes or elements of the measurement chain rather than being specific to any particular existing programme or calibration service;
  • work that needs to be done during the lifetime of the programme to meet the present and future requirements of UK private and public enterprises, including appropriate work needed to support innovation;
  • how those involved in other NMS programmes and those interested in the MMM programme would like to see the work of the first three MMM programmes taken forward in MMM-4 to meet the evolving needs of metrologists and metrology users in industry.

Mathematics & Modelling for Metrology themes

The uncertainty of a given measurement has equal importance to the reported measurement value.

Mathematics & Modelling for Metrology resources

NPL has made a range of software freely available to download, including tools for fitting low-degree polynomial calibration functions, software to support the use of the 'Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement' (GUM) and its Supplements, and a software simulation of a lock-in amplifier.


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