A laboratory (/ləˈbɒrətəri/ or /ˈlæbərətri/; informally, lab) is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientificor technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed.
Laboratories used for scientific research take many forms because of the differing requirements of specialists in the various fields of science and engineering. A physics laboratory might contain a particle accelerator or vacuum chamber, while a metallurgy laboratory could have apparatus for casting orrefining metals or for testing their strength. A chemist orbiologist might use a wet laboratory, while a psychologist’slaboratory might be a room with one-way mirrors and hidden cameras in which to observe behavior. In some laboratories, such as those commonly used by computer scientists,computers (sometimes supercomputers) are used for eithersimulations or the analysis of data collected elsewhere. Scientists in other fields will use still other types of laboratories. Engineers use laboratories as well to design, build, and test technological devices.