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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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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

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”

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'

Resistance Decade Box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Resistance decade box constructed with a rectangular wooden body and black plastic top displaying five large dials and fifteen smaller dials. Unit measurements are inscribed beneath each dial.

Significance

Related to objects 451 and 452

Inscriptions & Markings

Left to right on top panel surrounding dials: 'INT / OHMS AT 20 C MANGANIN / PURCHASED BY UNIVERSITIES COMMISSION / J. L. WILLIAM MELBOURNE' Adhered label at center of top, between dials: 'Part 2 W B S' Long front side has an metal panel with paper label and PVC covering demonstrating setup that has 'SERIAL No 416' engraved along upper edge.

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.

Hygrometer, Wet and Dry

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Wet and dry hygrometer made of two mercury and glass thermometers set on wooden stand.

Historical information

Used for measuring relative humidity.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: “Nat Phil Lab No. Univ of Melb.”

FACIT mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

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, 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”.

Rowland Diffraction Grating & Goniometer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Diffraction grating of 14,437 lines/inch x 3 1/4 inch. Set in goniometer. “The grating is a ruling of 14,437 lines/inch by Rowland, on a concave spherical speculum mirror of 4-1/2 inch aperture and 10 ft radius. First order dispersion is 5.5 A per mm.” (see RTW Bigham: ‘Concave Roland Grating: Eagle Mounting” in ‘Inspection of New Wing’; Appendix B5 , Vol 2 of Laby :CollectedPapers. The remnants of the Eagle Mounting, featuring a 4 inch tube x 10 ft long, presently uncatalogued, lies on the roof of a display cabinet in the PSB basement open cage-store.

Historical information

Speculum metal blanks made by John H. Brashear(1840-1920) from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Diffraction Grating made by Prof. H.A. Rowland, [School of Physics, University of Melbourne.] No known publications using the Eagle mounting. May have been used exclusively for practical work in Physics III.

Inscriptions & Markings

Kirkpatrick & Co., London

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

FACIT

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

see #313

TRINKS - Triplex

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

A Brunsviga twin-system with keys 10x10x20 and 12x20.

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: TRINKS Double System / GRIMME NATALIS & Co / Braunschweig / AND Brunsviga Calculator Co. / London, Brunsviga House / Snow Hill EC1[London] / Manchester, WIlliam Brown Street / Glasgow, 20 West Campbell St.

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

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)

FACIT Electrical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

FACIT Mechanical

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 19 x 10 Plaque: Made by Aktiebolaget FACIT/ ATVIDABERG / SWEDEN’ Black enamel, painted “V”; good working ordeer

MADAS

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electric Keys: 8 x 16

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”

MERCEDES-EUKLID [Arithmometer] Model 22

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 13 x 16

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”

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”.

Galvanometer, Tinsley

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cylindrical reflecting vertical galvanometer. Case made of black enamelled metal and standing on three legs for levelling.

Historical information

Used to measure electrical current.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label “Part 2”. Label “Purchase of University Commission”. Plaque on front “Reflecting galvanometer, link in aperiodic link out ballistic, H. Tinsley & Co. Ltd No. 41545”

FACIT 1122

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

X key A BIG MACHINE Ser no 200949

Interferometer - Michelson

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

A student demonstration or general laboratory model capable of calibrating the pitch of the mechanical thread in terms of the wavelength ofvisible light, specifically a chosen emission line from the spectra of say mercury.

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

Wild-Fuess Barometer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Wild-Fuess cylindrical Barometer used to measure atmospheric pressure and constructed predominantly of chrome and brass. Contained in specially made barometer case (Reg No.2).

Historical information

“Wild-Feuss Barometer - Leppin and Masche - Instructions for Assembling”, 1942. Paper : “A Stand Barometer of New Design” by Laby, 1924. Related to object 2.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved near top “LEPPIN & MASCHE, BERLIN NO. 856”. On label near base “Please lower the mercury level after use in order to keep the interior of the glass clean round “zero”.

FACIT Mechanical ModelCM 2-16

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 16 x 9 x 16 ( A note states: ‘Possibly Model No LX (1945) See Sabielmy’s book (1939) Plaque: (See 297/M9 ....Sydney Pincombe ...)

White & Gillespie Slide Rule

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

White & Gillespie “Dualface” comprehesive slide rule Model 432 In original cloth covered case

Inscriptions & Markings

“Dual face” Comprehensive Slide Rule Model 432 Melbourne > W&G