Ed Muirhead Physics Museum

The Ed Muirhead Physics Museum aims to celebrate the discipline of physics at the University of Melbourne. The museum also serves as an intellectual laboratory and a muse. The collection derives entirely from the School of Physics, which was established in 1882 as the School of Natural Philosophy.

View the collection

Physics today spans the infinitesimal world of the quantum into deep space.  Physics breakthroughs have a profound effect on our society and satisfy our profound curiosity about the origin, evolution and fate of the universe.  Thousands of students take some physics subjects to support their ambitions as physicists, architects, astronomers, botanists, doctors, software engineers and sometimes, as archaeologists and artists – all inspired by recent discoveries.

The Museum is named in honour of Associate Professor Ed Muirhead, Chairman of the School of Physics from 1980 to 1986, who fostered its initial formation, while simultaneously developing a new academic agenda for the School, which has helped position it for the 21st century.

Winged Victory of Muirhead by Sam Golding
Winged Victory of Muirhead by Sam Golding. The image is made up in a composite of elements from the Muirhead collection assembled into the Winged Victory form, in a manner reminiscent of Arcimboldo, the Florentine court painter who created similar composite images.

Acquisitions Policy