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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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469 items

Length Standards, 3 six inch

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

(1) Glass rectangular scale (1-(1)-6 inch); (2)ditto steel rectangular scale, (3) ditto metal cylindrical rod. Enclosed in black hinged box with purple velvet lining. 65.1 = steel scale, 65.2 = glass scale, 65.3=steel rod, 65.4 = box. See #63 “Washington Certified Standards.

Inscriptions & Markings

Labels on top of box: “Length standards used by U.B. Grayson” “40aJJR” “Washington certified standards 1.6 inch steel scale, 1.6 inch glass scale, 1.6 inch steel rod. For particulars see certificate 1915” Engraved on glass scale: “BSN 394” “H.J.G. Melb Univ. 1915” “13.0C” “1 2 3 4 5 6” Engraved on steel scale: “BSN 393, H.J.G. Melb Univ. 1915” “ruled at 12.8C” (H,J,G, = Henry Grayson)

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”

Photograph, Optical Munitions (Duplicate)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

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”

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 211

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: “CROSS CONNECT SYSTEM” Handwritten in right bottom hand corner: “Interlocks and Ron Gray”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

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 SET” Handwritten in pencil on top left hand corner: “11”

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with EJ Hartung (Duplicate)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph entitled “E.J. Harrung and an experimental pot of optical glass” Duplicate of no 157

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of image in ink: “36 Prof. Hartung” On front of image in ink: “36”

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

see #313

Photograph of main tank ,Pelletron Accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

The Pelletron is a high Voltage particle accelerator capable of producing 5Mev. The main tank contains the pelletron chain of metal pellets connected by insulating nylon links. The pellets are charged by induction and transported by a chain to the collecting dome. The tank is filled with sulfur hexafluoride a high voltage insulating gas

Galvanometer W.G. Pye & Co.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Galvanometer consisting of a wooden stand with a fold down wooden front cover. One coil attached to front panel and fixed coil on the rear stand. Quartz fibre and reflecting mirror missing. Three brass leveling screws on the base. Handcrafted, machined/industrial technique, assembled, cast. Manual or machine application- sanded, buffed, polished, stained/coated/ laquered. Surface finish: polished, laquered, stained, coated corrosion/patina.

Inscriptions & Markings

[Stamped] top centre of upright front face: W.G. PYE & CO./ ENG./ CAMBRIDGE. Inscribed on base plate in front: No. 11972.

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

MILLIONAIRE (Ticket no 13) 10 keys

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Sheet of operating instructions which mentions that O. Steiger is the Patentee. On separate stand about 600mms high Plaque: ‘Sole Agents for Australia / Peacock Bros. PtyLtd / Business Systems / Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth’

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”

Photograph, TH Laby

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white portrait of T.H. Laby (at approximately 50 years?)

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with G. Armitage

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of Geo Armitage testing a monocular (or part of the binocular testing program?). Same apparatus as in no 134.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “7”.

Photograph, Optical Munitions: A.C. Goodwin & Peter Law

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of two scientists at work (A.C. Goodwin and Peter Law).

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “8” On back of image in pencil: “No. 8 A.C. Goodwin Peter Law” (L to R) On back of image in ink: “8”

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”

Electrometer, Quadrant Dolezalek

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass cylindrical galvanometer on three grey enamelled legs.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on top: “W.G. Pye & Co. Eng. Cambridge No. 9250”

Photograph, Optical Munitions: A.C. Goodwin & Peter Law

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of two scientists at work (A.C. Goodwin and Peter Law).

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “9” On back of image in pencil: “No. 9 A.C. Goodwin Peter Law” (L to R) On back of image in ink: “9”

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with Optical Flat

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo showing close up of glass optical flat in case. Photographed label reads: “Glass optical flat. Made by Natural Philosophy Laboratory. Melbourne University. Certificate Number 18. Accuracy of surface, flat within .000,001 (unmarked surface). Accuracy of surface, within .000,002 inch (marked) “use other side”. A photograh in Cd red light of the interference fringes of this flat when placed on a standard glass flat is shown above. Initials: [signature]. Tests made by: [VDH signature]. Certificate issued by T.H.L. Date: Feb 19th 1941.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “17”.

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.

Electro Magnet

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Composite object with three feet supporting two squared cylinders attached to a clamping device and metal block with four current terminals. Cylinders are covered with red leather. Metal block and clamp base appear painted.

Historical information

Horace Darwin, youngest surviving son of Charles Darwin, was a founding partner of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company in 1881 (http://www.museumoftechnology.com/cic.html).

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on terminal block: 'No 15548 / THE CAMBRIDGE SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT CO LTD. CAMBRIDGE. ENGLAND' Engraved on side of terminal block: 'To be excited from 200 volts circuit / with coils in series. Connect terminals 2 & 3.'

Instruments, Miscellaneous

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Demonstration model: Metal cylindrical instrument has three tubes attached to body with a glass disc in one tube (= viewing port). Large part of instrument is cut away. Model part of accelerator beam line. Bolt holes on the base and top of instrument for attachment into vacuum lines.

Phase plate

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Rectangular clear glass plate.

Photograph, Optical Munitions with G.F. Dainty

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of G.F. Dainty (with equipment unidentifiable)

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “5”.

Length Standards, 3 six inch

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

(1) Glass rectangular scale (1-(1)-6 inch); (2)ditto steel rectangular scale, (3) ditto metal cylindrical rod. Enclosed in black hinged box with purple velvet lining. 64.1 = steel scale, 64.2 = glass scale, 64.3=steel rod, 64.4 = box. See#62 “National Physical Laboratory Certified Standards”

Inscriptions & Markings

On top of box labels: “Length Standards 3BA”, “National Physical Certified Standards 1.6 inch steel scale. 1.6 inch glass scale, 1.6 inch rod. For particular see certificate 1915” “40 6”. On glass scale engraved: “13.0 cNP” Engraved on steel scale “H.J.G. Melb Univ. 1915 ruled at 12.9 Celsius” . On glass scale engraved: “H.J.G. Melb Univ. 1915” “1,2,3,4,5,6”. (H,J,G, = Henry Grayson)

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

Optical Flat

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Glass rectangular slab stored in brown cardboard box.

Inscriptions & Markings

?? Stamped on back of box: “ExD 40 3453A ECLORTRA” (this may be unrelated)

Optical glass specimen

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Glass rectangular slab consisting of 11 glass plates “welded together”. Slab is concave and squashed on top. Base shows two black lines. An early attempt to manufacture bulk optical glass.

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): MS 10 Mass spectrometer. Duplicate of 218

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”

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.

Felt and Tarrant Comptometer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Mechanical Calculator

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

Universal Shunt W.G. Pye & Co.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Machined, sanded and attached with screws. Polished. Surface finish: lacquer

Inscriptions & Markings

[Stamped] on top face in the centre, along the front edge: “W.G. PYE & Co LTD/ ENGLAND/ CAMBRIDGE/ UNIVERSAL SHUNT [Stamped] on top face above the central dial: No 15.787 [Stamped] on top face: Total Res= 10,000 ohms

FACIT

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electronic Digits on Screen Multiply and Divide keys For Plaque Details see 330/EL3 DATED 21-6-80

Photograph, Optical Munitions: A.C. Goodwin & Peter Law

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of two scientists at work (A.C. Goodwin and Peter Law).

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “9” On back of image in pencil: “No. 9 A.C. Goodwin Peter Law” (L to R) On back of image in ink: “9”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Shielding cans and final amplifier.

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: “SHIELDING CANS”, “FINAL AMPLIFIER” Handwritten in bottom right hand croner: “RF Power Amplifier”

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, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Stereoscope with lid (and wooden oddment)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Olive green enamelled stereoscope enclosed in olive green wooden hinged box. Two test stereoscopic pictures of a rhino also kept in box. A wooden oddment (10 cm) is also enclosed.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved in white on stereoscope: “DC-1940 Serial No. 32” Label on front of box: “stereoscope”

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)”

“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, Opening PS Building

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of Weickhardt, Caro and Spicer watching L.H. Martin unveiling a plaque which reads: “This Building was opened on the 23rd February 1974 by Sir Leslie Martin Kt CBE FRS FAA”

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten on back in pencil: “Feb 1974 L to R: Wuickhardt (Chancellor), Caro (Head), Spicer, L.H. Martin (age 74”. “A”

Photograph, TH Laby

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white portrait of young man (?possibly T.H. Laby).

Engine, Micro-ruling engine, Wm Stone #1

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

First micro-ruling engine made (1934), by Stone, with flat rectangular iron base and wheel mechanism. A scriber made of a gramophone needle is in place over the glass slide on a ruling table. A second holder for a diamond lies beside the instrument.

Historical information

From attached information on display: This engine was designed to explore the nature and magnitude of mechanical defects in ruling engines. It was used to cut simple rulings for the calibration of microscope fields of view.

Polarimeter #1 part B

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass cylindrical optical element erected on wooden rectangular base.

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” (?)

Diffraction Grating Scribe

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Small cylindrical metal rod with diamond point embedded at one end and a brass circle with 50 divisions and a pointer affixed at the other end to define the orientation of the rod/diamond point. Presumably used with one of the Grayson or Stone engines.

Inscriptions & Markings

On face: “0 10 20 30 40”

Tube, Geiger counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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