A laboratory (CommE /ləˈbɒrətri/ or /ləˈbɒrətəri/, AmE /ˈlæbərətɔːri/; informally, lab) is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or 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 or refining metals or for testing their strength. A chemist or biologist might use a wet laboratory, while a psychologist's laboratory 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 either simulations 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.
Scientific laboratories can be found as research and learning spaces in schools and universities, industry, government, or military facilities, and even aboard ships and spacecraft.