Stories Organisations Projects About Login

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum Parkville, VIC

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum at the University of Melbourne comprises a collection of items of historical and scientific interest, concentrating on scientific apparatus constructed by former professors and staff for research purposes. It includes equipment and photographs spanning the history of the School of Physics, which was established as the School of Natural Philosophy in the 1880's.

There are significant holdings of ruling engines and diffraction gratings developed by Grayson and Lyle as well as apparatus emerging from optical munitions research directed by Laby during the Second World War.

The Museum owes its creation to the dedication and forethought of Associate Professor Ed Muirhead, Chairman of the School of Physics from 1980 to 1986, who initiated the museum in the 1980s. The collection was catalogued with the aid of then curator, Ms Anna Fairclough, and the museum displays set up with a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum has had continuing outstanding support from the Cultural Collections Group and the Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund. In 2008 The Friends of the Physics Museum was initiated by colleagues and past students of Ed Muirhead.

Links

Contact Information

location
Level 2, The School of Physics, David Caro Building (192) Corner of Elgin and Swanston Streets The University of Melbourne Parkville Victoria 3010 (map)
phone
+61 03 8344 5076

Contact

Opening Hours

Opening hours: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday Closed between Christmas and New Year and on public holidays. We are located in the Laby/Hercus lecture foyer The School of Physics is on the corner of Swanston and Elgin Streets

Entry Fee

FREE

Location

Level 2, The School of Physics, David Caro Building (192) Corner of Elgin and Swanston Streets The University of Melbourne Parkville VIC

View on Google Maps

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum at the University of Melbourne comprises a collection of items of historical and scientific interest, concentrating on scientific apparatus constructed by former professors and staff for research purposes. It includes equipment and photographs spanning the history of the School of Physics, which was established as the School of Natural Philosophy in the 1880's.

There are significant holdings of ruling engines and diffraction gratings developed by Grayson and Lyle as well as apparatus emerging from optical munitions research directed by Laby during the Second World War.

The Museum owes its creation to the dedication and forethought of Associate Professor Ed Muirhead, Chairman of the School of Physics from 1980 to 1986, who initiated the museum in the 1980s. The collection was catalogued with the aid of then curator, Ms Anna Fairclough, and the museum displays set up with a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation.

There are no comments yet.

Leave a comment

469 items

close
Show All Items Items with Images (99) Items with Audio Items with Video Items with Documents
View As Grid List

469 items

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Internal beam deflector power supply.

Historical information

Builit in 1950s and used till the mid 1970s within the Physics Department used in Melbourne. John Rouse and David Caro was involved in the construction.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sticky typed labels on back from left to right: “DEFLECTOR POWER SUPPLY” Handwritten in top left hand corner: “16”, “HV DC Supply for internal beam defection”

Heliostat, Silbermann (and small mirrror)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Heliostat consisting of brass cylindrical body on metal stand.

Historical information

Information sheet next to object details history, purpose and use. A pillar was constructed for the instrument in 1863.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on face: “J.C. Silbermann Invleur Tuit por J.Dubosq i Paris” “No. 119”

Wheatstone Bridge Leeds & Northrup Co.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Machined metal sides and interior, machined plastic top with plastic dials, handmade wood base with dovetail joins and mitred corners. Perforated machined metal surface spray painted, machined plastic surface coating, wood base most likely hand varnished. Surface finish: metal sides painted matt blue, plastic top brownish red coating with smooth matt finish, wood base varnished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on top face: “LEEDS & NORTHRUP CO./PHILADELPHIA/62798. Paper Sticker on back metal side: “PA 3” Diamond shaped paper label adhered to top face with diagram handwritten in black ink.

Rotating Anode X-ray Tube

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

The investigation of the x-ray appears early on to have been a priority research topic at the University of Melbourne’s School of Physics. This interest was sparked by the appointment in 1889 of Professor T.R. Lyle. Lyle, who was head of the school until 1915, is thought to have been the first person in Australia to have taken an x-ray photograph. A copy of this photograph can be found in the School of Physics Archive. For this particular experiment Lyle actually made his own x-ray tube. His successor, Professor Laby, continued to work with x-rays. During the 1920s Laby worked on the x-ray spectra of atoms and in 1930 he co-published with Dr. C.E. Eddy, Quantitative Analysis by X-Ray Spectroscopy. Also with Eddy, Laby produced the landmark paper Sensitivity of Atomic Analysis by X-rays. Laby went on to have an x-ray spectrograph of his own design manufactured by Adam Hilger Ltd. (see cat. No. 38). School of Physics, the University of Melbourne Cat. No. 22. Jacqueline Eager Student Projects Placement, Cultural Collections 2005 A modern X-ray tube differs little from the original Coolidge tube. A minor modification is the rotating anode type that extends the life and increases the available power of the tube by presenting a new portion of the anode when required.

Inscriptions & Markings

“P125/20/40/NrF038803 (?) SIEMENS-REINIGER-WERRE AG ERLANGEN Eigen filleung (?) mind. 0,7 mm AL” On rotating shaft: “FO/33803” On cathode: “23C”

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of bench with cyclotron equipment in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron Photographs (Duplicate set)

FACIT Electric/Electronic

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

14 Electronic digits appear on Screen

Photograph, Optical Munitions: H.D. Rathgeber

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of Henri Rathgeber looking through equipment.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “6” On back of image in pencil: “No. 6 Henri Rathgeber” On back of image in ink: “6”

MARCHANT ADX FIGUREMATIC NO 4

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 10 x 20 Plaque: Model ADX Made in USA by Marchant Calculators Inc Oakland, California, USA

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): : Cross connect system (interlocks) with Ron Gray. Duplicate of 210

Historical information

Builit in 1950s and used till the mid 1970s within the Physics Department used in Melbourne. John Rouse and David Caro was involved in the construction.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscriptions and markings: Sticky typed labels on back from left to right: “CROSS CONNECT SYSTEM”

Dosimeter, X-ray

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Polished metal cylindrical X-ray dosimeter stored in red rectangular cardboard box. 26.1 = box 26.2 = dosimeter

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on dosimeter: “C1948” On box: “C.K. Dosimeter”;”Sole Distributors Cinema Television Ltd Lower Sydeham London S.E.26”

Photographs, 2.8 MeV Betatron: Glass Donut

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

6 colour polaroid photographs showing different angles of Glass donut for 2.8 MEV Betatron (Reg 61) (269.1,269.2, 269.3, 269.4, 269.5, 269.6) Photographs are of Reg 61: Glass donut for 2.8 MeV Betatron

Voltmeter, Hartmann & Braun

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Assembled, moulded (bakelite). Coated. Surface finish: polished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: “Hartmann & Braun/A.-G./Frankfurt a.M.” Stamped label: “NATURAL PHILOSOPHY LABORATORY/No/UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE”

Leaflet, NatPhil Lab 1939

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Stapled thin leaflet cover entitled “Natural Philosophy Laboratory University of Melbourne. Inspection of New Wing and Exhibition of Physical Apparatus and Experiments. Friday, August 25th, 1939 8pm to 10pm”. 15 pages in leaflet.

Photographs, 2.8 MeV Betatron: Glass Donut

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

6 colour polaroid photographs showing different angles of Glass donut for 2.8 MEV Betatron (Reg 61) (269.1,269.2, 269.3, 269.4, 269.5, 269.6) Photographs are of Reg 61: Glass donut for 2.8 MeV Betatron

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of cyclotron machinery in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron Photographs (Duplicate set)’

Galvanometer, Leeds & Northrop

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black cylindrical galvanometer with circular base standing on three legs.

Inscriptions & Markings

Embossed: “Leeds and Northrop Co. Philadelphia PA”, “652978”, “Zero Adjuster/Coil Clamp”. Labels: “Part 2”, “Supplied by A.W. Dodds Pty Ltd, 612 Collins Street, Melbourne MU 6786”

Photograph, Cyclotron (JL Rouse)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of cyclotron equipment displayed on bench. Stored in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron - Photographs around the vacuum chamber from J.L. Rouse (Feb 1991)” Similiar to 246-247, 249-250

Clockwork Chart Recorder

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

No. of pieces: 2 (with removable parts) Assembled, soldered/welded. Metal: plated. Wood: varnished. Accessories: key. Surface finish: coated.

Ratio Arm, Hartmann & Braun

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Assembled, hand built, cast, forged, moulded. Coated, polished, printed, incised, burnished. Surface finish: coated, polished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on upper face: “Hartmann & Braun A.G./ Frankfurt a.M./ No 13882” Label adhered to upper face in front left corner: “Part 2-W B 4” On base (stamped in ink): “24 JULL 1929” Inscribed into the underside, wooden base: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"774 X\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"

“MULTO” (Brunsviga)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

ODHNER/BRUNSVIGA TYPE MULTO model 13or 113 keys: 10 x 8 x 13 same as F288/M1

Inscriptions & Markings

Ser. no.

Slide with box and lid

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Slide showing Wallace’s Replica of Rowland’s Plane.

Inscriptions & Markings

Typed label on slide: “Wallace’s Replica of Rowland’s Grating 14500 lines to the inch Central Scientific Company, Chicago ILL” Label on box: “Diffraction Grating (Wallace) 14500 lines/inch”

FACIT Electronic

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

as for EL2: 14 Electronic digits appear on Screen Plaque: Donated by the Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research 21-6-80

“MULTO” (Brunsviga)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

ODHNER/BRUNSVIGA TYPE MULTO model 13or 113 keys: 10 x 8 x 13 same as F288/M1

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): gas inlet system, focusing lens & filament stem & leads. Duplicate of 177.

Historical information

Builit in 1950s and used till the mid 1970s within the Physics Department used in Melbourne. John Rouse and David Caro was involved in the construction.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sticky typed labels on back from top and left to right: “GAS INLET SYSTEM, 1st FOCUSSING LENS, FILAMENT STEM & LEADS”

Photograph, Optical Munitions, Opttical Prisms

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo showing four assorted optical prisms on a black background. A fifth specimen shows a sandwich glass “prism” assembly prior to cutting and polishing.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “25”.

Accessory box for a No 6 Director Mk I

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Leather accessory box with shoulder strap and metal buckles. Flip open lid.

Historical information

Possibly related to the range-finding equipment sent from England for dismantling during the 1940s so University of Melbourne Physics staff could develop their own equipment. Related to object 463.1

Inscriptions & Markings

Embossed in lid: 'CASE NO 6 DETECTOR MK 1 / COOKE, TROUGHTON & SIMMS, LTD / 9 / 22 / A.F.A' and broad arrow symbol.

Diapason normal Tuning Forks. Set of 13 in wooden case.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Set of 13 tuning forks tuned to each semitone of the musical scale, based on C4=256 Hertz (A4=435 Hertz); each with spherical brass knob on end; all enclosed in a hinged wooden case. Wooden clamp for forks included in the box. Performance certificate available. 53.1=box 53.2=wooden forks clamp 53.3-53-15 =13 tuning forks.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved plaque inside box: International Stimmunt ut 3-517,304v? 1a 3-870v?; C1-258,652 Schwingungen a1-435 Schwingungen. Inscribed on top of box Max Kohl Chemnitz 1/5 Label on side of box:Tuning forks. On each tuning fork size is identified as MK inscribed.

Galvanometer, H. Tinsley & Co.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cast, assembled, moulded. Coated. Accessories: plastic dials and base. Surface finish: enameled, coated.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: “GALVANOMETER/TYPE 4500A/NO. 33871/H. TINSLEY & CO./ LONDON S.E. 25” Label under the plaque: “NA[illegible]HIL LAB”

Brunsviga Double

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Double machine, each half similar to M1. keys: 10x8 :10x8

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: BRUNSVIGA MACHINENWERKE A.G. Braunschweig Made in Western Gerrmany Ser.no. 1.4-0578.3/Brunsviga/D13R-2

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

See previous (F317) for details. Instrument c600mm long.

Photograph, Optical Munitions (Duplicate)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph entitled “G.A. Ampt and E.J. Hartung and experimental pots of opitcal glass” Duplicate of no. 158

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of image in ink: “37 L to R: G.A. Ampt and Prof. Hartung”, “1886-1953 see ADB Vol 7” On front of image in ink: “37”

MARCHANT V TR10FA

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 10 x 20 Plaque: TR10FA 628,938 MODEL V TR10FA Made in USA by Marchant Calculators Inc. Oakland, California, USA

Electrometer, Quadrant Elliot

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass quadrant electrometer consists of four quarter-cylindrical brass boxes (quadrants ) each mounted on a glass insulating pillar. The whole is housed within an electrostatic shield (Faraday cage) - a beehive shaped wire cage enclosure (aka a “bird cage”). The quadrants and cage stand on a round base platform on three legs with levelling screws (tribach base?). Arising from the platform is a separate vertical rod arises from the periphery and terminates over the axis of cylindrical symmetry and from which provision is made for a conducting suspension fibre which supports the horizontal “paddle” which is free to rotate within the cylindrical cavity of the four quadrants. The suspension and paddle are unfortunately missing.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on front: “Natural Philosophy Laboratory No. University of Melbourne” Engraved on front: “Elliott Bros London”

BURROUGHS ADDING Printer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Plaque: ‘Burroughs/Detroit/ Mich / USA’

Resistance Bridge Elliott Bros

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

No. of pieces: 2. Mould cast and machine made. Plastic coated, lacquered wood (body). Copper alloy and plastic coated key. Surface finish: lacquered.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on top face along front edge: “TRUE OHMS/ RIGHT AT 15.7oC No 1907/ P.S WIRE” Inscribed on top face in the centre, along the back edge: “ELLIOTT BROs LONDON” Inscribed measurements on top face, clockwise from top number: “30,000, 40,000, 10,000, 20,000” Inscribed on left side face: “P” Inscribed on top face along right edge: “D”

Sharp Compet 363P electronic Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electronic Calculator

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator) 180 deg. spectrometer & target chamber.

Historical information

Builit in 1950s and used till the mid 1970s within the Physics Department used in Melbourne. John Rouse and David Caro was involved in the construction.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sticky typed labels on back from top and left to right: “180 SPECTROMETER MAGNET & TARGET CHAMBER”

Panel, glass

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Glass panel with “Natural Philosophy School” etched on surface. Taken from east door of Old Physics Building (1973)

Inscriptions & Markings

University Motto: “Cresam Posteria Laude”. followed by “Natural Philosophy School”

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electric Keys: 8 x 16

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with O.M. Panel

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of Optical Munitions Panel meeting (September 1943) of 11 members: L to R: Lt. Col. G.H. Adams; G.H. Briggs; Mr (Sr) Richard v.d.R. Woolly; E.O. Hercus; H.J. Frost; Prof. Kerr Grant (S.A.); Prof. T.H. Laby; Harrigan; J.S. Rogers; Prof. A.D. Ross (W.A.); Prof. T. McAuley (Tas)

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “23”

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with J.S. Rogers & E.O. Hercus

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo showing Rogers and Hercus examining equipiment.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “15”.

Optical Munitions Test Plates

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cardboard box containing cotton wadding and straw padding layered above glass plates individually wrapped in tissue paper. Five plates in the top layer, followed by more padding, 2 more plates, padding, 8 glass plates, padding and straw. Plates are variously sized and circular in shape.

Historical information

Associated sheet of paper inside box lists each of the test plates as having been tested and found defective.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten on box lid: 'REJECT TEST PLATES / MK1 DIAL SIGHT' unreadable handwritten inscription '18' '[E. E. N Wa...worth] / [...] / [Kob...]' '23/11/45' Munitions labelled with technical specifications of each lens.

Photograph, Optical Munitions: G. Crickmore

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph showing Gordon Crickmore using compass. Same photo as 136.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “16” On back of image in pencil: “No 16 Gordon Crickmore” On back of image in ink: “16”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): 14kV ProtectionSystem (Thunder Box)

Historical information

Builit in 1950s and used till the mid 1970s within the Physics Department used in Melbourne. John Rouse and David Caro was involved in the construction.

Inscriptions & Markings

Sticky typed labels on back from top and left to right: “14KV PROTECTION SUPPLY (Thunder Box)”

Photograph Multiple Beam Interference 0.008 in.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white print of multiple beam interference fringes showing depth of etching

Photograph, Optical Munitions with Fred Caldwell

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of Fred Caldwell operating a stereoscope.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “4”.

Photograph, Optical Munitions

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of young male examining optical glass

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of image in pencil“29” On front and back of image in ink: “29”

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with V.D. Hopper

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of V.D. Hopper in experimental mode (with stop watch and potentiometer).

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “13”

Tube, Geiger counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Glass Geiger counter ready for evacuation. For details see No 15.

FACIT Mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 19 x 10 Plaque: Made by Aktiebolaget FACIT/ ATVIDABERG / SWEDEN’ Black enamel, painted “V”; good working ordeer