Visiting the National Physical Laboratory

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is a large laboratory in Teddington, London where they do things with metrology, measurement, and standards. They hold an open day once a year inviting members of the public to come in and look around. The site is massive and there’s loads to see - I only got around half of it before running out of time.

Like some other tours I’ve been on, there were plenty of extremely knowledgeable staff on hand to explain the oddities we were seeing and demonstrate some of the experiments they’d set up.

A photo of a science experiment. There are three blue stands held in the air. There's a screen in the background with a hand visible on it.
A photo of a lit sign that reads 'Danger - laser radiation'
A close photo of some radio-wave insulating foam. The foam is formed in to tall pointy pyramids with pale blue bases and black tips. The pyramids are arranged in a rigid grid - as if the entire floor were spikey.

They have two rooms with spiked insulation used for testing radio emissions from electronic devices. If my memory serves me, they tested phones and satellites in here. The pyramids are actually really hard and solid despite appearances.

A photo of some radio-wave insulating foam. The foam is formed in to tall pointy pyramids with pale blue bases and black tips. The pyramids are arranged in a rigid grid - as if the entire floor were spikey.
A macro photo through a circular window looking at several sensing instruments pointing at a coin.
A scanning thingy.

I should probably make a note of what some of the things I photograph are showing - this looks to be some kind of microscope, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.