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National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

What will students see at your exhibit?

Visitors to the National Physical Laboratory exhibit will learn about the purpose of NPL as the UK’s national metrology institute, the economic and social importance of metrology and the vast range of science, from underwater acoustics to earth observation to medical physics that happens at NPL. You will also learn about the interesting properties and uses of liquid nitrogen.

What physics is used?

Participants will learn about how the basic SI units of measurement are defined, the international measurement standard hierarchy and the importance of measurement uncertainty. We will also demonstrate the relation between temperature and volume of gases, how a light-emitting diode (LED) works and how its behaviour is modified by temperature.

Why is it useful?

The importance of reliable, accurate and standard measurement has a long history and is of fundamental importance to the economic and social well-being of a country. Accurate measurement underpins many areas of society including fair trade, manufacturing and healthcare.

Further Reading

NPL website:

Twitter: @NPL