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Technologies, devices, metrology and applications

NPL is home to cutting-edge research in quantum

Quantum physics describes the properties of atoms, electrons and photons which can behave either like waves or particles, resulting in many extraordinary properties. Quantum technologies can provide unchanging measurement standards and 'quantum behaviour’ can potentially create a completely new class of advanced environmental sensors and systems. These radically new capabilities will be used in timing and navigation, secure communications, driverless cars, computing and other critical applications.

NPL carries out quantum research, ensures the metrology framework is in place for innovative devices and develops testing and measurement techniques. We provide the expertise and facilities needed to underpin the development of quantum technologies in the UK.

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NPL's quantum capabilities for industry

Device designers and manufacturers, measurement equipment providers and researchers will find NPL’s comprehensive range of equipment and knowledge a vital resource. Our breadth of expertise means we can find solutions and alternatives you may not have considered, discuss the pros and cons of different techniques and give you the latest updates on standards and guidance.

Below we list some of the quantum capabilities which NPL has developed to support UK industry in the development of new products and services based on quantum technologies.

Quantum capabilities

The National Timing Centre programme

We are developing the UK’s first nationally distributed time infrastructure. As the UK’s timing authority, NPL is enabling the UK to move away from reliance on GNSS and deliver resilient UK time and frequency that provides confidence to our Critical National Infrastructure.

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Our services

We work with manufacturers of quantum devices to ensure standardised processes, and provide test and evaluation to increase confidence in products. We also offer timing solutions, services and consultancy to industry, academia and government.

Case study

Increasing the scalability of cryogenic interconnects for quantum computing


Case study

Independent verification of novel heart disorder diagnostic device