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World Metrology Day - 20th May 2023

World Metrology Day - 20th May 2023

Bushy House Open Day

World Metrology Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875. This treaty provides the basis for a worldwide coherent measurement system that underpins scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, as well as the improvement of the quality of life and the protection of the global environment. 

This year the theme was 'Measurements supporting the global food system', highlighting the increasing challenges of climate change and global distribution of food in a world whose population reached 8 billion at the end of 2022. 

World Metrology Day recognises and celebrates the contribution of all the people that work in intergovernmental and national metrology organisations and institutes throughout the year.

Bushy House & NPL

On Saturday 20th May, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) at Teddington opened the doors of their historic Bushy House to help celebrate World Metrology Day and also to help educate members of the general public in matters of measurement science and the extensive experimental work that NPL has undertaken since the original allocation of this house for use as a Royal Society laboratory. 

‘Many of Britain’s most renowned scientists have worked at NPL and made significant contributions to our scientific achievements, including Alan Turing, Louis Essen and Donald Davis. It is also the birthplace of Turing’s ACE computer, the first universal computer of its kind; packet switching, the basis of the internet; and atomic time, the backbone of GPS and global communications.’

NPL’s historical museum, enabled visitors to explore over a century’s worth of cutting-edge research and view artefacts on display. For those who wanted to see science in action, the ever-popular liquid nitrogen show was running throughout the day. On public view were various active demonstrations of science and ticketed group entry to the Kibble Balance lab for history of development. Also a stationary quad-helicopter type drone in the grounds that can monitor the health of vegetation by aerial detection means.

Visitors also had the opportunity to hear from Professor Richard Brown, Head of Metrology at NPL, briefly lecturing about the recent expansion to the SI prefix scale. This was a shorter version of a presentation Richard gave at an online event for the InstMC, entitled “A Short History of SI Prefixes” which can be viewed on the InstMC YouTube channel here:

To find out more about Bushy House and NPL, view NPL’s History Highlights.

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