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Medical physics

Working to improve patient outcomes

NPL has worked for decades with the clinical communities across a range of disciplines to support the delivery of required diagnostic and therapeutic outcomes. Over time NPL has become more actively engaged with academics, medical physicists, clinicians and equipment manufacturers, providing a wider range of direct support. This collaborative approach has accelerated the implementation and spread of best practice in new, more advanced diagnostic and treatment modalities.

Our new Metrology for Medical Physics Centre (MEMPHYS) will build on existing experience to support rapid acceleration of the development and implementation of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic technologies into clinical practice. It will improve early diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as cancer, dementia and heart disease.

MEMPHYS will work closely with the NHS, academia, industry and funding bodies and will act as a launch platform, providing multidisciplinary consultancy and advice, commissioning and validation methodologies, quality assurance protocols, verification techniques and advice on best practice and standards, protocols and training.

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Our research

Measurement expertise helps us to better understand how to harness the power of radiation to study, monitor, and tackle a range of medical conditions. Our research specialises in:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

With MRI we are improving how we capture images of the inside of the body to understand health and disease

Nuclear medicine

We are studying the use of radioactive substances in the research, diagnosis and treatment of disease

Therapeutic ultrasound

We are at the forefront of standardisation for therapeutic ultrasound, to enable accurate characterisation of devices

Radiation biology

We investigate the action of ionising radiation on living things

Radiotherapy and diagnostics

Using radiation to better diagnose, treat and monitor disease


Enabling companies to accelerate new medical imaging products to the market and clinic

Data science for life sciences and health

Our work helps to provide confidence in data on which new diagnosis and treatment innovations are built

Our services

We trace radiotherapy doses back to the UK’s primary standard, and audit radiotherapy equipment to ensure the best patient outcomes. Our work helps to deliver confidence in treatments and accelerate the development and uptake of new healthcare technologies.


Our training

Practical course in reference dosimetry

Improve your knowledge of practical dosimetry techniques. This hands-on training is aimed at radiotherapy physicists and other people working in the field.

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Our resources

We publish extensively in this area, as well as produce good practice guides. 


Case study

Supporting commissioning of new radiotherapy equipment safely and promptly


Case study

Simulating radiation therapy using virtual reality


Case study

Improving the reproducibility and understanding of MRI scans


Our team

Our world-class team of more than 40 researchers are leaders in their field.
View medical physics team