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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

Resistance Decade Box

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Resistance decade box constructed from rectangular base of ferrous metal with black plastic top. Top displays five circular dials with three smaller circular dials on the right.

Significance

Related to objects 450 and 451.

Inscriptions & Markings

Embossed plaque at front: 'J. L. WILLIAM / SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS / SERIAL No 3012 / TYPE RR5S / MELBOURNE / AUSTRALIA' Engraved and filled white on top plate from left to right: 'ABSOLUTE OHMS AT 20 C / MANGANIN' Label reading 'PHYSICS PT 2 222 A4' Logo reading: 'J. L. WILLIAM / SCIENTIFIC / INSTRUMENTS / MELBOURNE / SERIAL No 3012' 'ZERO RESISTANCE / 0.006 OHM' Dials labelled underneath with unit measurements engraved and filled white.

FACIT 1122

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

X key A BIG MACHINE Ser no 200949

SUMLOCK Adding Machine

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Book - A First Trigonometry

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

This volume is a softcover book with green coated fabric cover and black lettering. The front cover is horizontally bordered top and bottom with a double black line. A flat, decorative ornament of a person playing a piano, threaded with a pink ribbon, is stuck with tape to the inside front page.

Historical information

Part of the Laby Collection of material donated by the family of TH Laby and daughters Jean and Betty in August 2014. This particular book is one of two copies acquired together as part of the Laby Collection, the other being inscribed with Betty’s name, suggesting that this volume belonged to Jean Laby. At some point the ornament has been stuck in the book on the first page.

Inscriptions & Markings

Written inside front page with blue ink: ‘Jean / from D. K. [P.]’ Front cover in black: ‘A FIRST / TRIGONOMETRY / BY / WINIFRED WADDELL / AND / D. K. PICKEN’

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”

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”

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”.

Photograph Multiple Beam Interference 0.008 in.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photograph of bench with cyclotron equipment in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron Photographs (Duplicate set)

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”

Galvanometer, Gambrell

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass cylindrical galvanometer on bakelite base with four legs.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription “To release depress and rotate, Gambrell, London 3300/520”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator). Eric Coverdale at work on PDP 9 computer and experimental electronics.

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: “PDP 9 COMPUTER & EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONICS” Handwritten in back bottom left hand corner in pencil: “18” Handwritten on back bottom edge in pen: “Eric Coverdale”, “Shielded room”

Artillery director (No 6 Mk II with tripod)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Green painted brass director mounted on a grey metal base plate. Secured to a wooden tripod with coated copper wire cord linking tripod legs.

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 463.2

Inscriptions & Markings

Theodolite body engraved with: the broad arrow on top, and on side with 'DIRECTOR No 6 MK II / COOKE TROUGHTON & SIMMS LTD / 1924 / No 1126'

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.

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 216

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 pen on bottom right hand corner: “RF Power Amplifier DC Stabilizer” Handwritten in pencil on top left hand corner: “2”

Tube, Neutron counter

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Boron Triflouride neutron proportional counter. Long glass tube covered in black enamel

Inscriptions & Markings

Cello taped label: “20th Century Electronics” “Type G.60 Operate at 1250 Volts No. KK854” “Made in England”

Length Standards, NPL Certified, Archives

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Certificate of Examination for #64 of one 6 inch glass scale, one 6 inch steel scale, and one 6 inch end gauge for Professor Lyle. 3 page document (copy) from National Physical Laboratory, Teddington. Paper held together with pin. (See also #63)

Photograph Optical Munitions: Optical Flat

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Part of a series of optical munition snapshots 1940-1947. Refer to Cat No 137 for full details. Black and white photo of optical flat in de luxe case with certificate: “GLASS OPTICAL FLAT, made by Natural Philosophy Laboratory, Melbourne University” Number 18. Accuracy of surface flat within .000,001 inch .... Issued by (signd) T.H.L. Feb 19, 1941. Duplicate copy of Cat no 137; in OMP Album Vol 1 #17.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “17”. Inscribed on back in pencil: “No. 17”

FACIT 1122

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

X key A BIG MACHINE Ser no 200949

Posters, Display

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

A set of nine display posters, approx. 51cm x 64cm, of photographs, pages of pamphlets, newspaper cuttings, all stuck on cardboard with scotch tape. The set is mostly in good state of preservation, as at time of typing (1 March 2000) and no attempt has been made to remount or restore.

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

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”

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 accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Arc Stabiliser Control Chassis.

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: “ARC STABILIZER CONTROL CHASSIS” Handwritten in pen on bottom left hand corner: “God knows”

Magnetron,5cm

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Copper magnetron with disc-like body has three radiating electrodes each emerging through a copper to glass tube. Two of these are arranged on one side(= filament leads) and the other larger tube (collector/anode) is arranged diametrically opposite.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handwriting on top “?A4 A98/4.9%”

Slide rule , Castell

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Plastic white rectangular Castell slide rule (271.1) stored in green lined rectangular case (271.2).

Inscriptions & Markings

On slide rule in green font: “Castell”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): gas inlet system, focusing lens & filament stem & leads. Duplicate of 177.

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: “GAS INLET SYSTEM, 1st FOCUSSING LENS, FILAMENT STEM & LEADS”

Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Beam exit gate & magnetic shield. Duplicate of 195.

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: “EXIT GATE, MAGNETIC SHIELD”

Polarimeter #2 part A

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Brass cylindrical optical element erected on wooden rectangular base.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

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'