Products & Services
- International collaboration involving NPL performs most accurate test yet of time dilation predicted by special relativity.
- Resilient Communications: The Backbone of a Smarter Future.
- Cover feature on quantum technologies features NPL's state-of-the-art atomic timekeeping research.
- NPL will be inserting the 27th leap second into the UK's timescale, ensuring that atomic time is kept in sync with time based on the Earth's rotation.
- NPL and TMX's service to ensure compliance with MiFID 2's timestamping requirements is featured in WatersTechnology.
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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