Products & Services
- The main scheduled 2015 MSF outage is from 2-19 March 2015 from approximately 08:00 UTC to 18:00 UTC each weekday (normal transmission should be resumed overnight and at weekends).
- NPL's Caesium fountain atomic clock and NPLTime are featured in an article on the BBC Future's website.
- NPL researchers have reported the highest ever level of agreement between two different types of femtosecond frequency combs.
- An editorial in Nature Physics praises investment in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, including NPL's Quantum Metrology Institute.
- Helen Margolis has just been made an NPL Fellow in Optical Frequency Standards and Metrology.
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