Welcome to the Physics Museum.

The Physics Museum contains a collection of instruments and books used in teaching and research at The University of Queensland over the last hundred years. Most items are from Physics but some have been preserved from Engineering laboratories. All were used to make physical measurements, or illustrate physical principles, in many cases much more clearly than in modern devices. Many are shown in our website, where there are descriptions, many written by third year students as part of their studies in instrument design. If you are not a physicist or engineer we hope you will still enjoy the strange shapes and beautiful workmanship of the items displayed.

Among the hundreds of items on display you can find ten items, or small groups of items, chosen to represent the research which has been carried on in Physics over the last hundred years. Each represents a decade of our history and has a special label to pick it out.  All the display cases are numbered and the locations are given in the list below and in the audio and written descriptions.


1910-1919            Sumpner reflecting electrodynamometer   (S16)

1920-1929            Famous Pitch Drop Experiment  (across the foyer)

1930-1939            Radon Laboratory  (S18)

1940-1949            CSIR Ionospheric Recorder (S44)

1950-1959            Synchronome Master Clock and Bell Timer (north wall at west end)

1960-1969            The Bribie array  (S44)

1970-1979            van de Graaff accelerator  (S43)

1980-1989            Big G  (S18)

1990-1999            Optical vortices  (S14)

2000-2009            Quantum Engineering (S14)

Of course these items represent only a part of what went on, but we hope they will give you some flavour of what we have been doing, and how we did it, over a hundred years.

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