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Serving science


In its role as France's national metrology laboratory, LNE carries out fundamental and applied research in the fields of physics (electricity, mechanics, optics and thermics) and chemistry (electrochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, gas metrology and bioanalysis). Its work consists in:

  • performing experiments to define units in the international SI system and determine fundamental constants
  • defining and maintaining national standards in order to reproduce SI units and their multiples and submultiples
  • developing calibration benches to ensure users' standards are traceable to national standards.

The aim of this research and development is to anticipate and meet the measurement traceability needs of companies, research laboratories, test laboratories and organizations in the wider community where the health and safety of consumers is concerned.

LNE's mission also includes participation in interlaboratory comparisons of national standards, organized by the International Weights and Measures Committee CIPM or the association of European national metrology laboratories EURAMET. These comparisons are essential as they enable the CIPM to ensure that the SI system and the MRA (Mutual Recognition Arrangement) signed by national metrology institutes are consistently applied. In France, national standards are used for calibration chains comprising around 250 accredited calibration laboratories.

Fields of research



Mass and related quantities

Chemical metrology

Metrology of liquids, solids and gases

Dimensional metrology

Mechanical properties of materials (impact resistance)

Optical radiation



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