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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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Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

Black and white photograph of cyclotron equipment stored in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron Photographs (Duplicate set) Very similiar to 235

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Diffraction Grating , Thorpe with box

Thorpe’s Transparent replica of Rowland Metal Diffration Grating; 14,484 lines/inch. Consisting of glass rectangular specimen, approx. 5 x 3.5 cm stored in hinged black velvet lined box . Grating = 98.1 Box = 98.2

Inscriptions & Markings

Label on grating: “The Surface of the grating must not be touched”. “THORP’s Transparent Replica of Rowland Metal Diffraction Grating 1st Q 14484 lines to the inch”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, TH Laby

Black and white portrait of T.H. Laby (at approximately 50 years?)

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): 14kV ProtectionSystem (Thunder Box)

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: “14KV PROTECTION SUPPLY (Thunder Box)”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Betatron Installation

Photograph of initial Betatron installation.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

SUMLOCK Adding Machine

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Fluxmeter Cambridge

Body cast in mould. Possibly dipped in coating. Surface finish: Black coloured evenly applied coating.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on underside: “C402373” Dymo label on top face: “Physics/ PT2 222 D5”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Contex-30 Calculator

Electronic Desktop Calculator

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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First day cover, TH Laby &c

First day cover showing stamps of famous Australians including Thomas Laby, Scientist.

Inscriptions & Markings

Printed: “ Australia postcover Famous Australians Stamps and Cover Design Bruce Weatherhead”. Postmarked: “Philatelic Sales Centre Melbourne 3000 First day of issue - 10 November 1976”

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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Report - Stratospheric Winds Over Australia

Blue spiral bound report titled 'Stratospheric Winds Over Australia'.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Periscope, Optical munitions : part of prototype tank ..

Metal hollow vessel with glass insert opens at one end. At opening metal round plate is perpendicular and has brass cylinder attached.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Optical Munitions, with H.A. Waters

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of H.A. Waters operating instrument on tripod. Two rotary switches marked “Graticule”, switch positions “Off On”; similarly “Vernier” -- “Off On”.

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “32”.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Statitron

Photograph of the general view of the statitron. The accelerating tube is encircled by corona rings.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron, Duplicate Set

Black and white photograph of cyclotron equipment stored in white envelope entitled “”Cyclotron - Photographs around the vacuum chamber from J.L. Rouse (Feb 1991)” Very similiar to 238 and 239

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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HEWLETT-PACKARD HP 35

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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DAVEY SAFETY LAMP

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Optical Munitions, with V.D. Hopper

Part of a series entitled “Optical Munitions - School of Natural Philosophy, 1942-1945”. Black and white photo of V.D. Hopper in experimental mode (with stop watch and potentiometer).

Inscriptions & Markings

In ink on lower left hand corner : “13”

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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Magnetic Dip Circle

Dip circle consists of a brass cylinder with two glass flat end-windows, containing a centrally mounted magnetic needle free to rotate about its supporting axis in a vertical plane. The needle , when at rest is arrested by a trunnion from which the needle can be raised by means of external knob. Very close to the needle is mounted the vertical circular scale. Two magnifiers are mounted at the end of a brass “diameter’ which can be rotated so as to read off the angular positions of both ends of the needle after being set up. Graduated horizontal scale on the base. Spirit level mounted. Tribach base.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on base: “Robinson 38 Devonshire Street Portland Place London”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Shielding cans and final amplifier.

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: “SHIELDING CANS”, “FINAL AMPLIFIER” Handwritten in bottom right hand croner: “RF Power Amplifier”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): Tritium recirculating system.

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: “H3 RECIRCULATING SYSTEM”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator) 180 deg. spectrometer & target chamber.

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: “180 SPECTROMETER MAGNET & TARGET CHAMBER”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

MADAS

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, Cyclotron accelerator

Black and white photo of cyclotron (nuclear physics accelerator): ion source housing - filament stem & internal stem.

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: “FILAMENT STEM, INTERNAL STEM” Handwritten on back bottom right hand corner in pen: “Ion source housing”

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Wheatstone Bridge Leeds & Northrup Co.

Machined metal sides and interior, machined plastic top with plastic dials, handmade wood base with dovetail joins and mitred corners. Perforated machined metal surface spray painted, machined plastic surface coating, wood base most likely hand varnished. Surface finish: metal sides painted matt blue, plastic top brownish red coating with smooth matt finish, wood base varnished.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscribed on top face: “LEEDS & NORTHRUP CO./PHILADELPHIA/62798. Paper Sticker on back metal side: “PA 3” Diamond shaped paper label adhered to top face with diagram handwritten in black ink.

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

“MULTO” (Brunsviga)

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

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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

8 digits

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville

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Photograph, TH Laby

Black and white portrait of young man (?possibly T.H. Laby).

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum, Parkville