Stories Organisations Projects About Login

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

View on Google Maps

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.

There are no comments yet.

Leave a comment

99 items with images

close
Show All Items Items with Images (99) Items with Audio Items with Video Items with Documents
View As Grid List

99 items with images

FACIT

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

see #313

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, Optical Munitions: D. Huey

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph Dick Huey at work assembling plate glass for making gla blocks. Same photo as 147

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “27” On back of image in pencil: “No 27” On back of image in ink: “27”

MILLIONAIRE (#2) 10 keys

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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’

Photograph, Optical Munitions: G. Crickmore

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph showing Gordon Crickmore using compass. Same photo as 136.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “16” On back of image in pencil: “No 16 Gordon Crickmore” On back of image in ink: “16”

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”.

TEC AM103 Electrical Adding Macine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Direct Current Galvanometer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cylindrical and galvanometer made of green-gray enameled metal on a round base.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque on top of cylinder: 'DIRECT CURRENT GALVANOMETER / COIL RESISTANCE 20 OHMS / CRITICAL RESIST 120 OHMS / SENSITIVITY 200 m.m/μα / Instrument No. 1023 / J. L WILLIAM'

Dumpy Level (Part of)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Historical information

Used for setting levels.

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

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)

Meldometer, Joly

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

The Joly meldometer was created to determine the melting point of minerals. W.E. Wilson, an astronomer and author, stated in 1900 that the Joly meldometer consisted of a ‘a strip of platinum on which minute fragments of any mineral can be placed, while any alteration in its length can be determined by means of a micrometer screw which touches a lever connected with one end of the strip. The strip can be heated by an electric current, and is calibrated by observing the micrometer readings corresponding to the temperatures at which some substances of known melting-points melt’i . One reason why the Joly meldometer was seen as a successful addition to science was the small amount of any substance that it required for testing. Only a minute sample was needed for the instrument to work and so a tiny part could be taken from a delicate item without destroying itii . The instrument was originally manufactured by the Irish company Yeates & Son of Dublin. The Yeates family business was established in the early 1790’s and is thought to have operated until approximately 1922iii . Their business slogan was recorded as ‘Instrument makers to the University’, a slogan which proudly exhibited their relationship with Trinity College, Dublin. The company was located directly opposite Trinity College, the place where the Joly meldometer was created. Working in such close proximity must have assisted this business relationship. The inventor of this meldometer was Irishman John Joly. Joly was born in 1857 at the Church of Ireland Rectory, Hollywood House. His education led him to Trinity College Dublin where, by 1891, he had obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree as well as a Doctorate of Science. The entirety of his working life appears to have taken place at Trinity College although he is known to have travelled in order to consult with other scientists such as the world renowned Sir Ernest Rutherford. The Joly meldometer was used for a variety of different purposes, with scientists often adapting the instrument to suit their own needs. For instance, the previously mentioned astronomer W.E. Wilson adapted the meldometer to assist him in measuring the radiation of the suniv . Joly used his device in an attempt to ascertain the age of the earth. In 1913, along with Sir Rutherford, Joly came to the conclusion that the earth was approximately 400 million years old. They did this by analysing the decay of radioactivity in minerals. According to our present knowledge of the earth this was a much more accurate date than the dates Joly had previously derived. He had first thought that the earth was 97 million years old due to the volume of sodium in the oceans. Joly’s second analysis of the topic had resulted in the age of 80 million years. This figure was based on the accumulation of sediment. Apart from designing his meldometer, Joly is also remembered for his work with colour photography. In 1894 Joly discovered a method for creating colour photographs from a single platev . He also studied the use of radiation as a treatment for cancer and persuaded the Royal Dublin Society to establish the Radium Institute to assist hospitals. In 1933 Joly passed away at the age of seventy-six.

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”

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”

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”

FACIT Electrical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

keys: 13 x 8 x 13 Plaque: ‘School of pHysics [University of Melbourne]/

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.

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'

BURROUGHS Adding Machine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

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)

Photograph, Optical Munitions

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of young male examining optical glass

Inscriptions & Markings

On back of image in pencil“29” On front and back of image in ink: “29”

Magnetron, 3 cm

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of magnetron case consisting of a hollow baseless copper cylinder (similar to Reg. No. 18). Copper vanes are arranged spoke-like inside body. Three glass tubes radiate out of the body (similar to Reg. no. 20).

Sight

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cylindrical black sight with metallic fixtures and split sight. Adjustable base with screws.

Historical information

Associated with object 467.2

Inscriptions & Markings

Logo in triangle on side of barrel: 'ERW&S' Stamped on underside of base: '2C'

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. ?”

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, Optical Munitions: Notman

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph showing young man (Notman) working on graphic designs at a draft board.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “19” On back of image in pencil: “Notman No. 19” On back of image in ink: “19”

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’

“MULTO” (Brunsviga)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

ODHNER/BRUNSVIGA TYPE keys: 10 x 8 x 13 [donated by Jack McDonell (6 Mar 1997) who salvaged it when being discarded from UniMelb Physics III Labs in the 1950s. same as 289/M13

Inscriptions & Markings

Serial No 3-2381