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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

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Tube, Geiger counter

Glass Geiger counter ready for evacuation. For details see No 15.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Dee & beam exit. Image shows Ron Gray at work.

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 MAGNET WATER HEAT EXCHANGE, VIEW OF DEE & BEAM EXIT, COIL CANS” Handwritten in pen in bottom right hand corner: “Ron Gray”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Optical glass specimen

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.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Panel, glass

Glass panel with “Natural Philosophy School” etched on surface. Taken from east door of Old Physics Building (1973)

Inscriptions & Markings

University Motto: “Cresam Posteria Laude”. followed by “Natural Philosophy School”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Decade Inductance Box, 10 x0.1H

Cubic black box with ten brass contacts over which a rotary contact wiper moves; the wiper is rotated by a black knob.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on top: “INDUCTANCE Type 17-D”, “10 x 0.01H”, “Muirhead & Co. Ltd No. 126020”. On front: “MUIRHEAD”. Label: “Purchased by UNIVERSITIES COMMISSION”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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HP35 handheld electronic calculator

One of the first scientific calculators.

Inscriptions & Markings

Dymo label BRG/15105

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Beam Balance, with wooden box

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”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

MADAS

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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BURROUGHS ADDING Printer

Inscriptions & Markings

Plaque: ‘Burroughs/Detroit/ Mich / USA’

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph,Optical Munitions, Glass preparation

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of hands operating glass cutter, producing rectangular strips in preparation for experimental fusing of glass “sandwiches” into optical blocks. Same photo as 265

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “24”.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Optical Munitions, with E.J. Hartung

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of Professor Hartung trmoving experimental pot of optical glass from furnace.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “36”.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron (JL Rouse)

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, 248-250

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Diffraction Grating with cover

Diffraction grating, 1-3/4in x 1in ruled on 2-1/4 in. disk of speculum metal, recessed in 2-1/2 in. dia. brass holder, itself mounted on a flat, round base with three levelling screws. Cylindrical brass lid.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Optical Munitions with W.G. Kannuluik

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of W.G. Kannaluik operating an Abbe refractometer.. (For 122.2 see record no 273: ditto as for 122.1 ... photo of TH Laby)

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “1”.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron (JL Rouse)

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)”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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NO NAME! No 3. Mechanical Adder [?] & probably BURROUGHS see p 9 Bolton catalogue

8 digits

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Photographs, 2.8 MeV Betatron: Glass Donut

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Optical Flat

Glass rectangular slab stored in brown cardboard box.

Inscriptions & Markings

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator).: Driver amplifier, Excitor amplifier & Mass spectrometer.

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 and left to right: “DRIVER AMPLIFIER”, “EXCITOR AMPLIFIER”, “MS 10 MASS SPECTROMETER”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Gas X-ray Tube, Victor

The investigation of the x-ray appears early on to have been a priority research topic at the University of Melbourne’s School of Physics. This interest was sparked by the appointment in 1889 of Professor T.R. Lyle. Lyle, who was head of the school until 1915, is thought to have been the first person in Australia to have taken an x-ray photograph. A copy of this photograph can be found in the School of Physics Archive. For this particular experiment Lyle actually made his own x-ray tube. His successor, Professor Laby, continued to work with x-rays. During the 1920s Laby worked on the x-ray spectra of atoms and in 1930 he co-published with Dr. C.E. Eddy, Quantitative Analysis by X-Ray Spectroscopy. Also with Eddy, Laby produced the landmark paper Sensitivity of Atomic Analysis by X-rays. Laby went on to have an x-ray spectrograph of his own design manufactured by Adam Hilger Ltd. (see cat. No. 38). School of Physics, the University of Melbourne Cat. No. 22. Jacqueline Eager Student Projects Placement, Cultural Collections 2005 The original X-ray tubes relied on low pressure operation. The electrons and positive ions are produced in the residual gas. Positive ions are accelerated towards the cathode and release electrons which on hitting the anode produce X-rays. These early gas X-ray tubes operated satisfactory only over a narrow pressure range.

Inscriptions & Markings

Manufacturer’s mark stamped: “PATENTED/ VICTOR/ TRADEMARK/ MADE IN BOSTON U.S.A./ TUNGSTEN” A white circular stamp, stamped near the manufacturer’s mark: “[illegible]TER WIGGH[illegible]” Stamped label: “NAT. PHIL. LAB./ No./ UNIV. OF MELB.” Inscription on the end face of the copper piece: “PAT. SEP 5’ 11 DEC. 30’13/ JUNE 23, 14 NOV. 30.15/ 43835”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Suspension Galvanometer, H. Tinsley & Co.

Assembled, cast. Stenciled. Accessories: dials. Surface finish: coated.

Inscriptions & Markings

Paper label adhered with tape: “SUSPENSION BUST?” Stamped label: “NAT. PHIL. LAB./No17/UNIV. OF MELB.” Inscribed on rim: “H. TINSLEY & Co/LONDON. S.E./No9722

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Stereoscope with lid (and wooden oddment)

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”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Galvanometer, Tinsley

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”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Slide Rule, cylindrical / “FullerCalculator”

“FULLER CALCULATOR” : a wooden cylindrical slide rule(92.1) with spiral logarithmic scale 500 inches long. and specially made rectangular box (92.2) and pamphlet (92.3).

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on metal of adding machine (92.1): “8462/45” Label on inside of box: “Stanley Trademark Everything for the Engineer Architect and Surveyor in field and drawing office. W.F.Stanley & Co. Ltd, 286 High Holborn London WC1” Stamped on pamphlet: “University of Melbourne Department of Statistics” Label on top box: “display”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Optical Munitions: G. Crickmore

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”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Scattering Chamber & associatedeletronics.

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: “ASSOCIATED ELECTRON(IC)S”, “SCATTERING CHAMBER”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Electro Magnet

Key words

cambridge scientific instrument company
electro magnet
electrical equipment
electrical instrumentation

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.'

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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PhD Thesis (JC Bower) - Some Expansion Chamber Experiments in Atomic Physics

PhD thesis of Dr John Crawford Bower, who undertook his MSc at the University of Melbourne before completing his doctorate at the Cavendish Laboratory in 1939. Bower was in the RAF Operational Research Group in World War II before returning to the University of Melbourne to become a physics lecturer after the war.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Main generator & Main magnet stabiliser. Image is similar but not the same as 222

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 and left to right: “MAIN MAGNET STABILIZER”, “MAIN GENERATOR” Handwritten in pen on bottom right hand corner: “DC Mcquat supply generator” Handwritten in pen in top right hand corner: “15”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville