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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 VIC (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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416 items

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)

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”

Inductor

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Turned, carved, cast. Coated, polished. Accessories: wire (plastic-coated) Surface finish: coated, polished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Dymo label: “B.”

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”

Beam Balance, with wooden box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Beam balance made of brass, stainless steel with “ tortoise shell pattern” decoration. Enclosed in display case with glass windows and sitting on four legs for levelling. Made by F. Sartorius, Gottingen.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque on front of box: “F.Sartorius Werkstatte fur Wissenschaftliche Instrument Gottingen”. Plaque on balance: “Patent F.Sartorius Gottingen No. 5936”

Photograph, Optical Munitions (Duplicate)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of inner column of equipment. Duplicate of no

Engine, Grayson Diffracting Grating Ruling

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Grayson Diffraction Grating Ruling engine consisting of multiple complex chrome and brass components. Enclosed in specially made glass and wooden display box.

Historical information

Made by Henry Grayson at home with the help of William Stone. Used to rule diffraction gratings, achieving excellent results of 2cm squared rulings on speculum metal. The instrument was transferred to Melbourne University, and used by Professor Lyle from 1917-30. Information attached to the front of object and statistical information on stand on top of object.

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

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\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Beam line

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: “QUADRUPOLE FOCUSSING LENS” , “SCATTERING CHAMBER” Handwritten on back bottom left corner in pen: “extend beam line”

Betatron Installation

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Photograph of initial Betatron installation.

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.

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”

Lyle Radiograph

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Copies of the Lyle radiograph (see below) are on file with the letter (9Sept 1982) from J F Richardson (Australian Radiation Laboratory, as it was then called) detailing the description of the reproduction as follows: RADIOGRAPH OF PROFESSOR ORME MASSON'S FOOT! MOST PROBABLY THE FIRST RADIOGRAPH TAKEN IN AUSTRALIA. TAKEN BY PROFESSOR LYLE ON MARCH 3RD, 1896 USING A CROOKES DISCHARGE TUBE OF HIS OWN CONSTRUCTION

Historical information

"Salute to the X Ray Pioneers of Australia" by W Watson &Sons Ltd [1946] [Medical Library 610.9 WAT page 24-27 radiograph reproduction p26]

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Tube, Geiger counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): magnet & vacuum 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: “COIL CANS, POLE PIECE, BOX, COUPLING PORT, 10” DIFF PUMP” Handwritten on back bottom left corner in pen: “magnet and vacumm box” Handwritten in pencil “A”

BEROLINA Mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 9 x 7 x 12

Historical information

1910? M p 131 “one of the oldest pin wheel machines”

Post Office Box (Eureka)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Assembled, moulded. Coated. Accessories: dials. Surface finish: polished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on upper face along back edge: “T.E.P.L. MELBOURNE [arrow] 551 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” Underside written in pen: “ROBINSON & STUMBLES”

FACIT mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

KEYS: 13 x 8 x 13

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): beam line - second slit & second focusing lens.

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: “SECOND SLIT CAVE, 2ND FOCUSSING LENS, SLITS” Handwritten on back bottom left hand corner in pen: “Second slit and quadruple lens”

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”

FACIT

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

see #313

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)

Marconi Valve, Transmitting, with stand

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Valve has wooden (possibly mahogany) display stand.

Inscriptions & Markings

On glass: “Marconi Valve, patented, Made in England Cat.2 67.5” Detached accompanying label (partially torn): “Valve Type - CAT 2, Serial No: 575 Anode? For: 5.0 Amp Emission: 9? Operate filament A? 19.2 volts 51. ?”

Photograph, Optical Munitions with W.E. Agar

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of W.E.Agar manipulating an apparatus (possibly a sort of pantograph)

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “3”.

Galvanometer, Tinsley

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Rectangular galvanometer

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: “Galvanometer, Type 4600A, No. 55822, H. Tinsley & Co., London S.E. 25”

FELT & TARRANT COMPTOMETER

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Felt & Tarrant Mfg Co, Chicago, USA Note;’For history see extract from EM Horsburgh (editor) “Modern Instruments of Calculation” pp. 98-102. New introduction by Michael R Williams (1st 1914, 2nd 1984). TOMASH Publishers, Los Angeles, San Francisco.

Slides, Test with box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

8 micrometer (microscope) test slides stored in wooden box with storage slots. Cardboard label inside box: “From Melbourne University Physics Dept Museum. Probably Grayson trials or William Stone” “ Microrulers/W S” on lid

Inscriptions & Markings

On box: “Micronmemters W.S.” On 43.2: unlabeled, with glass rectangle 30x10mm cemented on microslide On 43.3: red and gold emblem/”Micronmemter 100 and 1000 in an inch” On 43.4: “Depth 0.10 mm; contents of 4 squares 0.001 C.mm ” On 42.5: unlabeleed square 9 x 7 mm. On 43.6: “1/100 1/500 inch” On 43.7: “200/inch 500/ inch 1000/ inch 2000/ inch” On 43.8: “1/100 1/500 inch” On 43.9: “Heavy lines up to 70,000. Higher Lines broken up” : “120X”(??)

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”

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”

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

Standard Resistor Hartmann and Braun

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Machined, assembled, cast, moulded. Plastic possibly stamped/painted with inscription.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten in what appears to be whiteout on top circular face: ½ watt. Dymo label adhered to front: PHYSICS PT2 F2 [Stamped] inscription on top: No 2470/ HARTMANN & BRAUN/ FRANKFURT ^/M /T.C.=+0,00002/10/OHM/bei 18oC. [Stamped] inscription centred on rim of top circular face in the front: 10hm=106, 3 cm/mm2 Hg. 0 oC. Medallion on top circular face: P.T.R. 38/ 1900. Handwritten on chipped paint dot on top: “2” (?)

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

Tube, Geiger counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Short glass Geiger counter tube with evaporated gold cathode.

Resistance box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Wooden box with brass top and 24 knobs (22 larger and 2 smaller) on the right-hand side. In addition there are two extra knobs on the right side of the top, as well as two removable oval access panels with handles on each of the ends.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stamped on top of box: a coat of arms 'HARTMANN OF BRAUN A/M' 'RICHTIG BEI / 20 / GRAD CELSIUS' increments for measurement On front side: Sticker labelled 'NATURAL PHILOSOPHY LABORATORY / NO 7 / UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE' Stamped on end of metal top: 'No. 2665'

Slide rule, Faber-Castell

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

White Castell rectangular slide rule (270.1) stored in clear plastic Faber Castell case (270.2).

Inscriptions & Markings

On slide rule: printed - “Castell”, On case: stamped - “Made in Germany”, in pen - “451”, Paper label: “Castell 57/89”

Photograph Multiple Beam Interference 0.004 in.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Planimeter with case and key

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Planimeter consisting of brass disc and measuring instrument made of white disc and attached bar. To measure area up to about the size of one A4 page. The instrument is stored in a black hinged box with purple velvet lining and small metal catches. Instruments instructions are attached to a label on the inside of the case. A small key is attached to the case lid by string. (23.1 = box, 23.2 = brass disc, 23.3 = planimeter)

Inscriptions & Markings

On planimeter (23.3): “G.Coradi Zurich Switzerland No. 3509” On box (23.1): “Nat. Phil. Lab. No. 1199, Gebr Wichmann Berlin”

Photograph, Optical munitions & E.R. Johnson

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of Dick Johnson using a polarimeter. Photo is glued on cardboard backing with red border.

Inscriptions & Markings

Hand written on back: “Optical Munitions E.R. (Dick) Johnson MSc candidate on polarimeter”. Stamped on back: “University of Melbourne School of Physics Melbourne”

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.

Original Pelletron Beam Line

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

The beam line transports the accelerated particles to the site of the experimental apparatus. It is evacuated and may be one of many lines.

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 200

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”

Photograph, Optical Munitions with W.G. Kannuluik

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of W.G. Kannaluik operating an Abbe refractometer.. (For 122.2 see record no 273: ditto as for 122.1 ... photo of TH Laby)

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “1”.

Glass donut for 2.8 MeV Betatron

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Glass donut with injector arm and attached wires. Internal surface is sand blasted and silver plated. Mounted on specially made demonstration stand. Reg 269.6 is photographs of the object.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque on mould: “Glass Donut for 2.8 MEV Betatron W.B.Laish and L.Riddiford 1946”

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?? (Research on instrument makers catalogues has not been undefrtaken Photographed June 2003 (Nicola)

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) Very similiar to 236

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

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Gas target cell & neutron shielding.

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: “WAX, GAS CELL” Handwritten on back right hand corner in pen: “Don’t know”

Vertex V170 Hard Drive

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Computer hard drive with exposed power board, circuits and interfaces. Model V.170.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on back: 'VERTEX PERIPHERALS / MILPITAS, CA. USA / WARNING / HANDLING PROCEDURE'