- National Physical Laboratory, UK
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the national
measurement standards laboratoryfor the United Kingdom, based at Bushy Parkin Teddington, London, England. It is the largest applied physicsorganisation in the UK.
NPL is an internationally respected centre of excellence in measurement and materials science. Since 1900, when
Bushy Housewas selected as the site of NPL, it has developed and maintained the primary national measurement standards. Today it provides the scientific resources for the National Measurement System financed by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. NPL also offers a range of commercial services, applying scientific skills to industrial measurement problems, and manages the MSF time signal. NPL has carried out work in the area of micro-opticsincluding microlenses and microlens arrays.
Teddington was also home to the UK National Chemical Laboratory but this was closed in 1965 and some of its work was transferred to NPL. NPL cooperates with professional networks such as those of the IET to support scientists and engineers concerned with areas of work in which it has expertise.
Researchers who have worked at the NPL include
Paul Baranand Donald Davies, who co-invented packet switchingin the early 1960s [ cite web | last = Stewart | first = Bill | title = UK National Physical Laboratories (NPL) & Donald Davies | work = Living Internet | date = 2000-01-07| url = http://www.livinginternet.com/i/ii_npl.htm | accessdate = 2008-05-12 ] ; D. W. Dyewho did important work in developing the technology of quartz clocks; Louis Essen, who invented a more accurate atomic clockthan those first built in America. Others who have spent time at NPL include Harry Huskey, a computer pioneer; Alan Turing, one of the fathers of modern digital computing who was largely responsible for the early ACE computer design; Robert Watson-Watt, generally considered the inventor of radar, Oswald Kubaschewski, the father of computational materials thermodynamicsand the numerical analyst James Wilkinson.
A new state-of-the-art laboratory for the NPL at Teddington was completed in 2007.
Directors of NPL
* Sir Richard Tetley Glazebrook, 1900-1919
Joseph Ernest Petavel, 1919-1936
Frank Edward Smith, 1936-1937 (acting)
William Lawrence Bragg, 1937-1938
Charles Galton Darwin, 1938-1949
Edward Victor Appleton, 1941 (acting)
* Sir Edward Crisp Bullard, 1948-1955
Reginald Leslie Smith-Rose, 1955-1956 (acting)
Gordon Brims Black McIvor Sutherland, 1956-1964
John Vernon Dunworth, 1964-1977
* Dr Paul Dean, 1977-1990
Peter Clapham, 1990-1995
John Rae, 1995-2000
Bob McGuiness, 2000-2005
Steve McQuillan, 2005-2008
Martyn Sené, 2008 (acting)
* [http://www.npl.co.uk/ NPL home page]
* [http://feeds.feedburner.com/npl-lectures NPL Video Lecture Series (podcast)]
* [http://www.secondhealth.org.uk Second Health in Second Life]
* [http://www.berr.gov.uk/dius/innovation/nms/index.html/ NMS Home Page]
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