The School of Physics Museum

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Wild - Fuess Barometer

The Wild-Fuess barometer that is located at the School of Physics is constructed from chrome and brass. It was designed to measure atmospheric pressure. Although its manufacture date is unclear the University of Melbourne is thought to have purchased the instrument sometime before the 1920’s.

The Wild-Fuess barometer is of German manufacture. It was made by Leppin & Masche of Berlin who also manufactured a variety of other scientific equipment. The instrument was designed from two existing barometers: the vessel-type barometer and the siphon barometer. By combining the positive features of both the errors of each were eliminated. Wild-Fuess barometers were a leader in their field and, as recorded by then Professor of Natural Philosophy (i.e. Physics) T.H Laby in 1924, they were also used by the Melbourne Weather Bureau.

Jacqueline Eager

Student Projects Placement, Cultural Collections 2005

Country of manufacture: Germany


No image

Wooden hinged barometer case with glass frontage made for Wild-Fuess Barometer (Reg. No. 1).

History of object: Made for Wild-Fuess barometer (Reg No. 1)

Hygrometer, Wet and Dry

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

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 4-1.obj

History of object: Used for measuring relative humidity.

Dumpy Level (Part of)

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 5-1.obj

History of object: Used for setting levels.

Microtome/W... (H.A. Waters)

Microtome made of metal and enamelled in light blue. Components are identified by the use of stick on labels. The microtome is mounted on a long cast iron rectangular base and has an electrical cord for connection to a power point.

History of object: Microtome for cutting resin embedded tissues for electron microscopy. In 1957 a modified hodge microtome redesigned and built by H.A. Waters of the Melbourne University Department of Physics was acquired. The Waters microtome is of thermal expansion type - the rod “A” is heated and by expansion pushes the resin block forward by a fraction. It is mounted on a long cast iron base. The movement of the block is eccentric drawing the specimen away from the knife after cutting, The glass knife ‘B’ is adjustable by means of a modified microscope column screws ‘C’. The microtrome is driven by a continuous action electric motor mounted on the common base. Hand cutting can also be done. The cutting was controlled by viewing through a Leitz Binocular microscope mounted on the same base. The original microscope was subjected to nine modifications by Dr S Weiner from whose PhD Thesis (1962) ‘Electron Microscopical Studies of the Liver’ this information was obtained. (text provided by Professor H Attwood)

Country of manufacture: Australia

Liquid nitrogen trap

Demonstration cut-away model of a liquid nitrogen trap for vacuum system, consisting of two coaxial copper tubes, diameters approx. 3 and 2.5 inch resp.

Instruments, Miscellaneous

Demonstration model: Metal cylindrical instrument has three tubes attached to body with a glass disc in one tube (= viewing port). Large part of instrument is cut away. Model part of accelerator beam line. Bolt holes on the base and top of instrument for attachment into vacuum lines.

Mechanical equivalent of heat(J): remnant of torque mechanism

Three components of “J” Calorimeter made of metal and covered in green enamel. One small weight from 33.3 has become detached from string.

History of object: From label: Remnants of the “J” Apparatus beam balance for the measurement of the mechanical equivalent of heat. The solid object is the rotating magnet the construction of which is illustrated on the cover of \\\"A man Ahead of his Times\\\". Made in the Nat. Phil. Workshop for J experiment.

Country of manufacture: Australia

Gas-powered engine

Gas-powered engine used to drive Grayson’s original ruling engine (Cat. no. 35) Because of frequent failures of the electric power supply, Grayson preferred to use a hot-air engine, driven by a gas flame, to turn the engine so that, once a ruling had commenced, it would continue uninterrupted until the end.

History of object: See Brief description

Engine, Grayson Diffracting Grating Ruling

Grayson Diffraction Grating Ruling engine consisting of multiple complex chrome and brass components. Enclosed in specially made glass and wooden display box.

History of object: Made by Henry Grayson at home with the help of William Stone. Used to rule diffraction gratings, achieving excellent results of 2cm squared rulings on speculum metal. The instrument was transferred to Melbourne University, and used by Professor Lyle from 1917-30. Information attached to the front of object and statistical information on stand on top of object.

Country of manufacture: Australia

Pyrometer, Cambridge Optical

Cambridge Optical Pyrometer constructed with round black face erected on wooden tripod. A single yellow wire about 1 metre length is left floating (i.e. wrapped round one leg).

Country of manufacture: United Kingdom, England

Spectrograph, Double Prism Optical

Double Prism Optical Spectrograph made of standing L-shaped metallic base in grey enamel which supports a brass collimator/telescope abutting a wooden box containing two prisms and camera. Tradition has it that it was designed by Laby but there is no supporting evidence.

Country of manufacture: United Kingdom, England

Photograph, “J” Apparatus in Laboratory

Black and white photograph of “J” Apparatus laboratory (refer to Reg No. 33 and Reg No. 34). Laminated photograph is mounted on wood and secured with masking tape. Metal hook on back for hanging. Frame is painted black.

Chart, Image/Photo Grayson ruling engine, details of manufacture

Cardboard image chart covered in clear plastic showing a variety of black and white photomicrographs, measurements and images: - curve indicating condition of screw prior to regrinding - curves showing progressive improvement during regrinding - curve showing result of corrections. - general view of Apparatus for cutting ratchet teeth. - apparatus for refining crudely separated abrasive - photomicrographs of Abrasives used in lapping the lead screw - photomicrographs of Grayson’s test rulings (Approx. 1875) - Diamond Carriage Front View - Plan of Apparatus for testing the screw - Measurements of Grayson’s Test Rulings

Slide, Grayson Test plate with case

Test plate rectangular glass slide with rulings under circular cover glass within yellow circle and brown border enclosed in red hinged box with blue lining. Described as “A sample Microscope slide - Test plate with rulings from 30,000 to 120,000 per inch”. This is the only surviving ruling reaching up to 120,000; hence is both unique and valuable.

Country of manufacture: Australia

Slides, Test with box

8 micrometer (microscope) test slides stored in wooden box with storage slots. Cardboard label inside box: “From Melbourne University Physics Dept Museum. Probably Grayson trials or William Stone” “ Microrulers/W S” on lid

Engine, Micro-ruling engine, Wm Stone #1

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.

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 46-1.obj

History of object: 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.

Country of manufacture: Australia

Engine, Micro-ruling engine, Wm Stone #2

Second micro-ruling engine (1934) erected on a wooden base. A simple steel cutter is in place over the glass slide on the ruling table.

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 47-1.obj

History of object: The advance mechanism on the large brass wheel does not seem to have been completed.

Country of manufacture: Australia

Photograph, 35 MeV betatron donut

Black and white photograph of 35 MeV betatron donut. Showing electron exit beam “pancake” deflector coils

Polarimeter #1 part A

#S 66&67 CONSTITUTE A SET Brass cylindrical optical element erected on wooden rectangular base.

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 66-1.obj

Polarimeter #1 part B

Brass cylindrical optical element erected on wooden rectangular base.

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 67-1.obj

Polarimeter #2 part A

Brass cylindrical optical element erected on wooden rectangular base.

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 68-1.obj

Polarimeter #2 part B

Brass cylindrical optical element erected on wooden rectangular base.

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 69-1.obj

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.

Periscope, Optical munitions : part of prototype tank

Cylindrical tube piece of machinery with lens and coated in olive green enamel. Gauge measure visible.

Three Dimensional Object (requires Quicktime): 76-1.obj

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Created: 12 May 2003
Authorised by: Head, School of Physics
Maintained by: Museum Curator (pslyons @