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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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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): R.F. power amplifier - tank coil & tuning capacitors. Duplicate of 190.

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: “VIEW INSIDE FINAL AMPLIFIER SHOWING TANK COIL & TUNING CAPACITORS” Handwritten in pen in bottom right hand corner: “RF Power Amplifier”

HP9810A Electronic Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Programmable Electronic Calculator with Model 10 Mathematics and Peripheral control Plug ins

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”

Invar length substandards, two with box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Two rectangular invar blocks, each 3 in. x 1-3/8 in.in hinged cardboard box. Block: 56.1 has a 5 cm length marked in millimetres on a highly polished surface. and 56.2. ditto with a 2 inch length graduated in 20ths (for 1 in.) and 100ths (for 1 in.) Box: 56.3. Almost certainly two Grayson rulings. See also Cat. nos 64, 65

Inscriptions & Markings

On inside of box: 4New? 3pd” Box top: “Virginia Blend The Gorrick Cigarette Handmade Lambert & Butler London”!!!

“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 (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 246-249

PEERLESS EMBEE

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electrical Keys: 10 x 8 x 17 From Department of Computer Science

Galvanometer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Rectangular frame with coiled metal wires on two opposite sides. Symmetrical placement of screws with connecting wires and terminals between the two sides. Removable cylindrical pin through center of top plate. Four smaller coils of wire secured to underside of top plate. Object rests on ends of three screw feet, two forward and one rear.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved at center of top plate: ' H. TINSLEY & CO. LONDON S. E.' Engraved at lower centre of top plate: 'NO 16949' Engraved on top of cylinder pin: 'NO 19908' Front side of top plate engraved with: 'DEFLECTING COILS' Engrave on center base of front side: '10 / VOLTS' Left side of top plate label: 'NAT. PHIL. LAB. / NO 65 / UNIV. OF MELB.' Associated label separate to object also has inscription on recto: 'Schering & / Schmidt / Galvanometer' and upside down on verso: 'A. C / [r] [e] [...] Gold[l]ing / p.p. 245' (writing unclear)

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, Cyclotron accelerator,

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): internal target & filament 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 and left to right: “FILAMENT STEM, INTERNAL TARGET STEM”

Posters, Display

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

A set of nine display posters, approx. 51cm x 64cm, of photographs, pages of pamphlets, newspaper cuttings, all stuck on cardboard with scotch tape. The set is mostly in good state of preservation, as at time of typing (1 March 2000) and no attempt has been made to remount or restore.

Photograph, Optical Munitions: Optical glass

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph showing male hands preparing glass for fusing. Same photo as 144.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “24” On back of image in pencil: “No. 24 Glass Preparation for fusing” On back of image in ink: “24”

Contex-30 Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electronic Desktop Calculator

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”.

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)

Abacus

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Wooden rectangular abacus with 13 rods. Each rod is divided by a wooden bar. On top part of the rod are 2 wooden discs, on the bottom part are 5 wooden discs. For operation details see Cat. no 87

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: “Betty Laby”

Spectrograph, Double Prism Optical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Double Prism Optical Spectrograph made of standing L-shaped metallic base in grey enamel which supports a brass collimator/telescope abutting a wooden box containing two prisms and camera. Tradition has it that it was designed by Laby but there is no supporting evidence.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on brass cylinder: “Adam Hilger Ltd London England” On end of brass cylinder: “Screw = 5m/m Adam Hilger Ltd London England No. F31.301/25403”

Sample Holder

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Metal sample holder for optics measurements with three circular, intertwined and moveable spheres.

Inscriptions & Markings

Logo and Cyrillic characters with 'No 650157' at top of holder.

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Main generator.

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: “MAIN GENERATOR” Handwritten in pencil on bottom left hand corner: “12”

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”

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

S.C.M. HAMANN

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

S.C.M. HAMANN Mechanical Type 505 Ser. no. 501354 Donated by Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research keys: 9 x 8 x 16 ELECTRICAL!

Inscriptions & Markings

HANANN Rechenmaschinen GMBH Berlin SW61 (West G)

35 MEV BETATRON

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

35 Million electron volt betatron, manufactured by Siemens, was purchased through the initiative of Professor Brian Spicer (then Director of Nuclear Physics Research, SoP) in 1962. It became the basis of a large research program of photonuclear physics research finally coming to completion in 1986. Of the two “magnets”, the one for external electron beam was scrapped, the other “reprocessed” in the SoP workshop during 2003. This involved the removal of most of the iron laminations to reduce the wieght, and which were replaced by wood to simulate the magnet “yoke” ; glamorised with colour to highlight the coils etc. At the time of writing it is proposed to locate it on the south-east corner of the Physics Podium.

Inscriptions & Markings

Caption describing the object mounted on base.

Stroboscope

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

125Hz tuning fork with viewing slot attached to one prong. Housed in wooden box with swivel top

Inscriptions & Markings

wooden box marked on lid with Stroboscope 125~ Tuning fork marked with England RAGG near base

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)”

BURROUGHS Elec. Adding J4191/2

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Output on Paper Roll Plaque ‘S.A. Burroughs/Paris. Made in France / Universel (sic) A.P. Series J/ Volts 240 AMP 0.2’

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”

Sunshine Recorder, Photographic Jordans

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass cylinder attached to black enamelled iron round stand by knobs. Catalogue article in display case to accompany object. (text in bad state of disrepair) (Addendum: Original text has been photocopied; thus replacement copy is placed with instrument, original confined to file)

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on cylinder: “Negretti & Zambra, London Jordans Photographic Sunshine Recorder No. 194”. Label: “Nat. Phil. Lab. Univ. of Melb.”

Paraffin Section

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Rectangular black box with metal scrapper and black instrument with round metal rod with screw tip and knob.

Inscriptions & Markings

Top of box: 'SPENCER BUFFALO USA' Label inside lid: 'PARAFFIN SECTIONS / [H]ONED NOV. 1952' Painted on box edge: 'W M 790'

MILLIONAIRE (#2) 10 keys

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: ‘Hans W Egli/Ingenieur / Fabrikation von flechenmashinen [sic; ?] / Pat. O, Steiger / Zurich II / No 2566. Sole Agents for Australia / Peacock Bros./ Business Systems Company / 558 , 560, 562 Collins St., Melbourne / and at / Sydney, Adelaide, Perth’ Plaque: ‘Presented to . / Department of Information Science / Melbourne University / by the / Gas & Fuel Corporation of Victoria / This calculating machine was used by Engineers of the Metropolitan Gas Co and Gas & Fuel Corporation / from 1917 to 1970’