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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

X-Ray Spectrograph, Laby/Hilger

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

The spectrograph employs the principle of single crystal Bragg X-Ray Diffraction to measure wavelengths by interpolation from accepted standard lines. It is suitable for the identification and determination of the charateristic emissions of elements and thus for X-Ray spectrum analysis. The instrument was manufactured by ADAM HILGER Ltd. to the design of Professor Laby and is the best preserved instrument surviving from his research activity. A full description is given in the Hilger Pamphlet with the instrument; alternatively see duplicate in Appendix A5,A6 in Vol 2 of Laby ‘s COLLECTED PAPERS.

Inscriptions & Markings

Laby Bibliography by R W Home “Physics in Australia 1945” pp 106-08; also reproduced by permission as Appenix C in “A Man Ahead of his TImes”By E G Muirhead References. nos 45, 41, 47, 52, 53

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

Lens with box and lid

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Round glass lens stored in rectangular cardboard box with lid and supported by cotton wool.

Inscriptions & Markings

On inside of box in pencil: “20/1/40 (?dictatomigialls of l/4). On top of box: “wray flat”.

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 (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)”

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'

Lens with box and lid

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Round glass lens stored in rectangular cardboard box with lid and supported by cotton wool.

Inscriptions & Markings

On inside of box in pencil: “20/1/40 (?dictatomigialls of l/4). On top of box: “wray flat”.

Photograph Multiple Beam Interference 0.006 in.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

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)’

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)”

Betatron Plates

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

10 silver bromide images on glass plates depicting graphics and information associate with the betatron.

Historical information

Associated with object # 336.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on box: 'PLATES FOR ENLARGER' 'KODAK SILVER BROMIDE'

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.

Rotary Switch 4 Position W.G. Pye & Co.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Assembled, coated, polished. Surface finish: coating.

Inscriptions & Markings

5/5 small circles o/ small a/ rough square imprint

MERCEDES-EUKLID [Arithmometer] Model 22

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 13 x 16

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): Beam exit gate & magnetic shield. Duplicate of 195.

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: “EXIT GATE, MAGNETIC SHIELD”

FACIT CA1-13 Electric Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 8 / 13

SUMLOCK Adding Machine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Inscriptions & Markings

keys: 12 Plaque: ‘Supplied by Bell Punch A’sia Ltd / 160 Castlereagh St., Sydney / 27 Little Collins St., Melbourne / Agents and Services in all states / BPC / Cash Control Systems, Adding Machines, Ticket Registers, Charge Machines / Ticket Printers, Gum Tape, Scaling Machines etc. /’ good working condition

Photograph, Optical Munitions with E.R. Johnson

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series of optical munition snapshots 1940-1947. Refer to Cat No 138 for full details. Black and white photo shows E R Johnson performing (presumably) test of optical specimen. Duplicate copy of Cat no 138; in OMP Album Vol 1 #18 .

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “18”. Inscribed on back in pencil: “No. 18 E.R. JOHNSON”

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Slide, Grayson Test plate with case

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Test plate rectangular glass slide with rulings under circular cover glass within yellow circle and brown border enclosed in red hinged box with blue lining. Described as “A sample Microscope slide - Test plate with rulings from 30,000 to 120,000 per inch”. This is the only surviving ruling reaching up to 120,000; hence is both unique and valuable.

Inscriptions & Markings

Labels on slide: “Test plate 10,000 to 120,000. Ruled by H.J. Grayson, Melbourne”. No of lines per inch Band 1-10,000 2-20,000”. On label on side: “No of lines per inch Band 3 -30,000 4 - 40,000 5-50,000 6-60,000 7-70,000 8-80,000 9-90,000 10-100,000 11-110,000 12-120,000”

FACIT Mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 16 x 9 x 16 Plaque: ‘Sydney Pincombe Pty Ltd, Sole Australian Agents Made by ....FACIT/ Sweden/ same as M11

MONROE 88N-213

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 11 x 21 Plaque: Keyboard setting register fully automatic single keyboard, double product register, deouble multiplier register, transfer, capacity 10 x 11 x 21. Monroe Calculating Machine Company/ New York USA/ no 2(?)/ 220-250 volts, 0-550 cycles AC/ 225-250 volts DC

Optical flat with box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Blank clear slide with cardboard box. Loose paper with slide “Plane parallel flat for adjustment of spectrometer”.

Tube, Geiger counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

As for Cat. 58 demonstrating GM Tube prior to evaporation of cathode.

Resistance Bridge Hartmann & Braun

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Machined metal parts, polymer base, wooden box plinth. Uncoated metal, polished wood. Surface finish: wood varnish.

Inscriptions & Markings

[Stamped] on upper face, centre of front edge: Hartmann & Braun A.G./ Frankfurt a.M/ No 13881. [Stamped] on upper face, centre of back edge: Manufacturer’s symbol. Paint dot on upper face in top left corner approx. 0.7-1.0cm in diameter.

Resistance Decade Box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

This rectangular wooden resistance decade box features four large dials for controlling resistances. The dials are mounted atop a black plastic panel, each with a square base. Three smaller dials are mounted to the right of the large dials.

Historical information

This object is believed to be associated with training at the Parkville Secondary Teaching College during the 20th Century.

Significance

Related to objects 450 and 452

Inscriptions & Markings

Embossed plaque at front: 'J. L. WILLIAM / SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS / SERIAL No 3960 / TYPE RB4DS / MELBOURNE / AUSTRALIA' Engraved and filled white on top plate from left to right: 'ABSOLUTE OHMS AT 20 C / MANGANIN' Logo reading: 'J. L. WILLIAM / SCIENTIFIC / INSTRUMENTS / MELBOURNE / SERIAL No 3960' 'ZERO RESISTANCE / 0.004 OHM' Engraved on back edge of top panel: 'SECONDARY TEACHER COLLEGE PARKVILLE' Dials are labelled underneath with unit measurements for resistance settings, engraved and in-filled white.

Electrometer, string T.H. Laby

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electrometer with black metal rectangular base and brass instrumentation. Base stands on three base legs. Optical telemicroscope is missing

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: “The Cambridge Scientific Instrument Co. Ltd Cambridge England No. 8626”

Microscope Slides

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

5 glass clear thin slides each with yellow stained circular specimens (111.1 to 111.5) 1 clear blank slide (111.6)

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): MS 10 Mass spectrometer. Duplicate of 219

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: “MS 10 MASS SPECTROMETER”