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United Kingdom National Physical Laboratory
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the national measurement standards
laboratory for the United Kingdom, based at Teddington near London. It is
the largest applied physics organisation in the UK, and has a role similar
to that of NIST in the United States.
NPL is an internationally respected centre of excellence in measurement and
materials science. Since 1900, 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 of Trade and
Industry. The NPL also offers a range of commercial services, applying
scientific skills to industrial measurement problems, and broadcasts the MSF
NPL cooperates with professional networks such as those of the IEE to
support scientists and engineers concerned with areas of work in which it
Researchers who have worked at the NPL include Paul Baran and Donald Davies,
who invented packet switching in the early 1960's, Louis Essen, who invented
a more accurate atomic clock than those first built in America, Alan Turing,
one of the fathers of modern digital computing, Robert Watson-Watt,
generally considered the inventor of radar, and the numerical analyst James
A new privately-funded state-of-the-art laboratory for the NPL at Teddington
is due to be completed during 2003.