Products & Services
- Immediately before midnight on 30 June 2015, NPL introduced the 26th leap second into UTC(NPL).
- Nature reports on how the next-generation timekeepers can only be tested against each other.
- NPL pays tribute to Louis Essen, the inventor of the atomic clocks that set the pace of modern life.
- A new book containing the memoirs of Louis Essen, developer of the first accurate atomic clock at NPL, has been published.
- With MiFID II due to be in place within two years, NPL and ICE have carried out a proof-of-concept to assess the NPLTime® service for its suitability for the impending regulations.
The Time & Frequency Group is responsible for operating the national time scale UTC(NPL) and disseminating time throughout the UK. Our caesium fountain primary frequency standard measures the SI second at the highest accuracy, and we contribute to the generation of the world's reference time scale UTC. We also maintain and disseminate another of the seven base SI units: the metre.
We carry out a broad programme of research in time and frequency metrology. A major activity is the development and characterisation of a new generation of optical atomic clocks based on laser-cooled trapped ions and atoms, which may lead to a future redefinition of the SI second. Potential applications of these clocks range from improved satellite navigation systems to sensitive tests of fundamental physical theories.
Other areas of current research include the development of compact and user-friendly frequency standards for industrial applications and unique algorithms for processing clock data to generate the most stable reference time scales achievable.
National Time Scale
NPL's Peter Whibberley discusses the National Time Scale
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