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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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469 items

POCKET CALCULATOR

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

HEWLETT-PACKARD HP-15C POCKET ELECTRONIC CALCULATOR (PTOGRAMMABLE) plus owner’s ×handbook :292pp March 1982

Inscriptions & Markings

3x miniature alkaline batteries (or silver oxide):Eveready A76 or 357 respectively or equivalents : see p 260 of HBK ser. no. 2237A05058

Camera accessory box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brown camera accessory box containing assorted accessories and flash bulbs

Photograph, Optical Munitions, with E.H.S.Burhop

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo shows Eric Burhop operating an optical pyrometer ....with possibly a vacuum furnace?

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “22”.

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.”

FH 40H Radiameter/Geiger Counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Grey, rectangular Geiger counter box with two black dials and viewing window with measurement scale. Four slits in top with setting dial on upper right side.

Historical information

Used for measuring the intensity of gamma-radiation and x-rays, and detecting beta rays.

Inscriptions & Markings

Embossed sticker (top of front): 'CALIBRATED DEC. 68 / MULT. READINGS BY I.3' Labels on dials and measurement viewing window.

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 ...)

ARCHIMEDES Model LL-K (electrical)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Keys: 10 x 11 x 20 ELECTRICAL!

FACIT 1122

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

X key A BIG MACHINE Ser no 200949

Sharp Compet 363P electronic Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electronic Calculator

Photograph, Optical Munitions, Glass “Sandwich” block

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of man, possibly E. R. Johnson, examining rectangular glass “sandwich” block in light. N.B. As at time of writing it is not certain that the “man” pictured in nos. 147 and 149 is the same individual as pictured in no 140. (EGM. 11/11/99)

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “29”.

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): 14kV stabiliser & RF power amplifier. Duplicate of 217

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: “14KV STABILIZER” Handwritten in pencil on top left hand corner: “2”

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

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

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.'

Ring Transformer

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Cast, assembled. Varnished. Accessories: paper label in plastic sleeve screwed to top. Surface finish: varnished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Paper label affixed to top of object: “Ring Transformer E2/Core Details/Cast Iron Ring/Mean Diameter 15.45cm/Thickness (along radius) 2.0cm/Breadth ([parallel- signified by two vertical lines] to axis) 0.509 cm/Winding Details Primary/Secondary” Damaged label adhered to upper face in back left corner: “Part[illegible]”

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.

DAVEY SAFETY LAMP

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

HEWLETT-PACKARD HP 35

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Photograph, Van de Graaff accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Small black and white photo showing equipment comprising of a large oblong ball on top of column.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwritten on back in pencil: “Van de Graaff Old Physic Building (Natural Philosophy)”

Photograph, Optical Munitions: ? Kahanine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of male scientist (Kahanine) working on graphic design.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front of image in ink: “31” On back of image in pencil: “No. 31 Kahanine’ On back of image in ink: “31”

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”

Photograph Multiple Beam Interference 0.002 in.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white print of multiple beam interference fringes showing depth of etching

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): inside dee 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 from top and left to right: “TUNING LOOP AND PORT, GUIDE RAIL, SHORTING BAR, COUPLING LOOP PORT, INSIDE DEE OUTER, 9” PUMP PORT, DEE STEM” Handwritten on back bottom left corner in pen: “inside the dee line”, “shooting bar, tuning loop and power loop, dee stem”

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”

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.

Camera and accessory box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Camera and accessory box with accessories and handbook stored inside.

Photograph, Optical Munitions: T.H. Laby

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of T.H. Laby holding a gun sight. Catalogued out of order as 122.2 (Photograph temporarily mislaid and repllaced by a P/C)

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”

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

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]