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Find out how NPL is improving life for everyone

Creating impact from science

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is one of London’s hidden secrets. Based in South West London, NPL is using science and engineering to save and change lives. From air quality and cancer treatment to robots and driverless cars, the technology is exciting, dynamic and fascinating.  

"If you can measure it you can improve it..."

Anthea Turner visited NPL to see some of our activities and understand how important measurement is. NPL is proud to open its doors and share its stories. 

Watch Episode 1 on London Live catch up

The next Episode is on Tue 8 Oct 7:30pm

NPLLondon Live

Time is ticking...

Over time clocks have become more and more accurate. The ticking of time is like the beating of a heart in our society, supporting communication, energy, broadcasting and the financial sector, to name a few. All clocks in the UK can be traced back to NPLTime - we're literally keeping the country on time!

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day: 8 October

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day was created to help raise awareness of this clean energy technology. October 8th (10.08) was chosen in reference to the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008). 

NPL is carrying out research into hydrogen purity and its potential as a fuel. Our report, Energy transition: Measurement needs within the hydrogen industry, highlights and prioritises the measurement challenges facing the hydrogen industry.


Find out more about our range of work on hydrogen or contact us.


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This month: Why NPLTime® is vital for the City

Banks and brokers are required to ‘timestamp’ all transactions to exceptional accuracy, recording exactly when the trade itself took place. High-Frequency Trading (HFT) needs timestamping to the 100-microsecond level (one microsecond is equal to one-millionth of a second). NPL is providing a time distribution service to maintain the stability of the market and support financial trading.

Find out about NPL's time services to the financial sector

NPL is the home of UK time, find out more about the range of timing services we provide.​ 


MSF radio time signal

Internet time from NPL



NPL: Creating impact from science and engineering

Our world-leading measurement solutions are critical to business and government, accelerating research and innovation, improving quality of life and enabling trade. We ensure our cutting-edge measurement science has a positive impact in the real world. 

As the UK's National Measurement Institute, NPL develops and maintains the national primary measurement standards. From new antibiotics to tackle resistance and more effective cancer treatments to unhackable quantum communications and superfast 5G, technological advances must be built on a foundation of reliable measurement to succeed. 

For over a century, we have worked with customers to translate scientific expertise into economic prosperity, skilled employment and improved quality of life.