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- Professor Patrick Gill, Senior NPL Fellow in Optical Frequency Standards, is among 50 leading scientists recognised by the Royal Society.
- Optical clock featured in Optical Society's Centennial Exhibition, which highlights 100 iconic images from the world of optics.
- NPL and the University of Southampton publish research into the development of an advanced fibre with zero-sensitivity to temperature changes.
- NPL's new Quantum Metrology Institute, a key element in the UK's efforts to exploit quantum technologies, features in New Electronics.
- New facility to accelerate the commercialisation of new Quantum technologies opens at NPL.
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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