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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

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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.

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469 items

Magnetron,5cm

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Copper magnetron with disc-like body has three radiating electrodes each emerging through a copper to glass tube. Two of these are arranged on one side(= filament leads) and the other larger tube (collector/anode) is arranged diametrically opposite.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwriting on top “?A4 A98/4.9%”

Photograph, Optical Munitions with R. Caldwell

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series of optical munition snapshots 1940-1947. Refer to Cat No 146 for full details. Black and white photo shows Bob Caldwell cutting with a diamond saw through a sandwich of optical glass . Duplicate copy of Cat no 146; in OMP Album Vol 2 #26.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “26”. Inscribed on back in pencil: “No. 26 ROBERT CALDWELL”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): 14kV stabiliser & RF power amplifier. Duplicate of 216

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 to bottom: “14KV STABILIZER” Handwritten in pen on bottom right hand corner: “RF Power Amplifier DC Stabilizer” Handwritten in pencil on top left hand corner: “2”

Diffraction Grating , Thorpe with box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Thorpe’s Transparent replica of Rowland Metal Diffration Grating; 14,484 lines/inch. Consisting of glass rectangular specimen, approx. 5 x 3.5 cm stored in hinged black velvet lined box . Grating = 98.1 Box = 98.2

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on grating: “The Surface of the grating must not be touched”. “THORP’s Transparent Replica of Rowland Metal Diffraction Grating 1st Q 14484 lines to the inch”

Galvanometer, Gambrell

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass cylindrical galvanometer on bakelite base with four legs.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription “To release depress and rotate, Gambrell, London 3300/520”

Brass Switch

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Short circuit and contact Brass switch Set of 3

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed with H W Sullivan Ltd London Item a Inscribed on base with No 5306 painted on base with 5222 Item b Inscribed on base with No 5304 Painted on base with 5223 Item c Inscribed on base with No 5274 Painten on base with 522c

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Tritium recirculating system.

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 to bottom: “H3 RECIRCULATING SYSTEM”

Clock, Cooke Astronomical with case

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Astronomical Cooke clock with large black face and wood-glass box casing. Enclosed in outer security case.

Historical information

Used by Prof. Laby probably in experimental determination of “J” the mechanical equivalent of heat. Also as master clock in master-slave system of clocks in Old Physics Bldg.

Inscriptions & Markings

On clock face: “T. Cooke & Sons York England”

Suspension Galvanometer, H. Tinsley & Co.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Assembled, cast. Stenciled. Accessories: dials. Surface finish: coated.

Inscriptions & Markings

Paper label adhered with tape: “SUSPENSION BUST?” Stamped label: “NAT. PHIL. LAB./No17/UNIV. OF MELB.” Inscribed on rim: “H. TINSLEY & Co/LONDON. S.E./No9722

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of cyclotron equipment stored in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron - Photographs around the vacuum chamber from J.L. Rouse (Feb 1991)” Very similiar to 238 and 239

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator). Eric Coverdale at work on PDP 9 computer and experimental electronics.

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: “PDP 9 COMPUTER & EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONICS” Handwritten in back bottom left hand corner in pencil: “18” Handwritten on back bottom edge in pen: “Eric Coverdale”, “Shielded room”

FACIT CA1-13 Electric Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 8 / 13

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”

Length Standards, NPL Certified, Archives

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Certificate of Examination for #64 of one 6 inch glass scale, one 6 inch steel scale, and one 6 inch end gauge for Professor Lyle. 3 page document (copy) from National Physical Laboratory, Teddington. Paper held together with pin. (See also #63)

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator)Focusing lens generators. Duplicate of 201

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: “FOCUSSING LENS GENERATORS”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): spectrometer magnet & target chamber. Duplicate of 174.

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: “TARGET CHAMBER, 180 SPECTORMETER MAGNET, TURNTABLE”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator).: Driver amplifier, Excitor amplifier & Mass spectrometer.

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 to bottom and left to right: “DRIVER AMPLIFIER”, “EXCITOR AMPLIFIER”, “MS 10 MASS SPECTROMETER”

Harmonic Analyser, The Stanley#3

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Wooden box (28.1) containing the following (11 items + 2x21disks (sets A &B): 28.2: black enamelled harmonic analyser (main body,serial no. 37 28.3: plastic slide rule (40 inch) 28.4: Instruction manual 28.5: Long steel metal rule (92 cm) with handles 28.6: Wooden clipboard with paper 28.7: brush 28.8: fixed arm planimeter Serial No. 25498 - 4 components and box 28.9: fixed arm planimeter Serial No. 25499 - 4 components and box 28.10 Harmonic analyser black piece 28.11 Harmonic Analyser long metal attachment 28.12 Harmonic Analyser short metal attachment 28.13 - 28.55: 42 metal discs (not numbered individually) 28.56 Key to box (not numbered)

Inscriptions & Markings

Front right hand side of box in texta: “GW7446”; on inside lid of box: “GW7446”; On harmonic analyser in white: “No. 3 Harmonic Analyser Stanley London Serial No. 37. Made in England”; On clipboard (28.6): ?“P.Cholec Shade”; Stamped on brush (28.7): “Made in England Pure Bristle”; Label in planimeter box (28.8): “7/124/F/152/500 Fixed Arm Planimeter Serial No. 25498. 1 Rev = 100 sq. cms. Constant = 18.676”. Inscribed on planimeter (28.8): “Albrit 25498 Made in England” Label in planimeter box (28.9): “7/124/F/152/500 Fixed Arm Planimeter Serial No. 25499. 1 Rev = 100 sq. cms. Constant = 18.676”. Inscribed On planimeter (28.8): “Albrit 25499 Made in England” On discs 28.13-28.55: Half are “A” disk and half are “B”. All are inscribed.

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”

Photograph, Optical Munitions: ? Kahanine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of male scientist (Kahanine) working on graphic design.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “31” On back of image in pencil: “No. 31 Kahanine’ On back of image in ink: “31”

Post Office Box (Eureka)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Assembled, cast hand built, moulded, dove-tailed. Polished, coated, engraved burnished, stencil. Accessories: dials, labels, screws. Surface finish: coated, polished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on upper face along back edge: “T.E.P.L. MELBOURNE [arrow] 298 1941” Inscribed on upper face along front edge: “EUREKA BRITISH STANDARD OHMS” Labels Inscribed on upper face: “POSTIVE POLE/LINE OR EARTH” “LINE AND/GALVANOMETER” “GALVANOMETER” “NEGATIVE POLE/AT 15.5oCENT”

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with J.F.G. Darby & W.B. Lasich

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of J.F.G. Darby (Left) & W.B. Lasich (Right) sighting on apparatus(??).

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “11”.

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Photograph Optical Munitions, with F. Caldwell

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series of optical munition snapshots 1940-1947. Refer to Cat No 133 for full details. Black and white photo shows Fred Caldwell looking through optical instrument. Duplicate copy of Cat no 133; in OMP Album Vol 1 #13.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “13”. Inscribed on back in pencil: “No. 13 FRED CALDWELL”

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of cyclotron equipment stored in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron - Photographs around the vacuum chamber from J.L. Rouse (Feb 1991)” Very similiar to 237 and 239

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electric Keys: 8 x 16

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

MADAS (Multiplication, Addition, Division, Subtraction) Electrical calculator with full keyboard and automatic multiplication. Made in Switzerland c1950. Cost $450. Presented to the Univewrsitiy by Peacock Bros., Carlton

Magnetron,3cm (experimental)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

3 cm dia oxidised copper cylinder held in construction jig (consisting of two flat square steel slabs clamped with bolts). Three copper through glass electrodes radiate out from the magnetron cylinder. Two of these tubes are small and adjacent to each other (filament leads).

Tube, Neutron counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Boron Triflouride neutron proportional counter. Long glass tube covered in black enamel

Inscriptions & Markings

Cello taped label: “20th Century Electronics” “Type G.60 Operate at 1250 Volts No. KK854” “Made in England”

TEC AM103 Electrical Adding Macine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Paper tape output Plaque ‘Tokyo Electric Co Ltd, Made in Japan

Microscope rulings, 7 with box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

7 flat discs (battery like) with diffraction gratings (55.1-55.7). surface rectangular rulings extend mostly 15mm . stored in specially converted metal hinged cigarette box (55.8) with wooden compartments

JEOL 100CX Transmission Electron Microscope

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

A Cutaway Transmission electron microscope allows detail of the inner construction and beam path to be viewed.

KELVIN CURRENT BALANCE

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Last used in a Physics 2 experiment in the 1940-50s. Refer to the printed version Part 2 Laboratory Manual (ed. Natalie Allen) for further details. Likely acquisition in early 1900s by Lyle

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with PeterLaw & A.C. Godwin

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of “Peter Law (Left) & A.C. Goodwin (Right)”. Involved with optical flats in aluminising apparatus.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “9”.

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Main generator & Main magnet stabiliser. Image is similar but not the same as 222

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 to bottom and left to right: “MAIN MAGNET STABILIZER”, “MAIN GENERATOR” Handwritten in pen on bottom right hand corner: “DC Mcquat supply generator” Handwritten in pen in top right hand corner: “15”

Periscope component

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Used as a periscope instrument. Twin pair of periscope components made of iron and covered in olive green enamel.

Magnetic Dip Circle

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Dip circle has much the same elments as in the previous model ( cat. no.81), except the brass cylinder is replaced by a mahogany box with two end windows. Tribrach base is fixed into a wooden sheet ( maybe for ease of carrying in the field).

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: “Nat Phil Lab No. Univ. of Melb” Magnets inscribed “Magnets for dip”

Camera and accessory box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Camera and accessory box with accessories and handbook stored inside.

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.

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

Photograph Optical Munitions : Director

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series of optical munition snapshots 1940-1947. Refer to Cat No 134 for full details. Black and white photo of optical instrument “director”. Duplicate copy of Cat no 134; in OMP Album Vol 1 #14.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “14”. Inscribed on back in pencil: “No. 14”

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, 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 246-248, 250

Optical glass specimen

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Glass rectangular slab consisting of 15 plates “welded/squashed together”. Slab is concave at top. See no 70 for details.

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator)Rear end of DEE system & accessories. Duplicate of 199

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: “WATER FLOW CONTROLS, REAR END OF DEE STEM, SHORTING BAR CONTROL” Handwritten on back right hand corner in pen: “Rear end of dee line”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): 60 deg. analyser magnet & lift assembly.

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: “MAGNET STANDARD RESISTANCE”, “60 ANALYSER MAGNET & LIFT ASSEMBLY”

FACIT Electric calculator CM 2-16

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 11 x 9 x 16

Adjustable Retort Stand

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Heavy metal tripod stand with three knobs and two adjustable holders.

Inscriptions & Markings

On tripod base: 'MET. RES'

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with E.R. Johnson

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of E.R.Johnson testing fused sandwiched plate glass in a polarimeter. N.B. As at time of writing it is not certain that the “man” pictured in nos. 147 and 149 is the same individual as pictured in no 140. (EGM. 11/11/99)

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of photo in pencil: “No. 20 E.R. Johnson”