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Help identifying equipment

  1. Aug 13, 2010 #1
    I'm working for the physics department this summer and I've been tasked with cataloging our equipment room. Part of this job involves identifying equipment used by previous professors but that no one knows about anymore. Could I get assistance in identifying some of these items or the labs that they might be used for?

    Here are pictures of all the equipment:
    http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B40qb-5Nbo80ZmNjNDFjNWMtZTAwMS00Nzk4LWJmY2QtYTJiNjEzYjA5Y2Jj&sort=name&layout=list&num=50 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2010 #2


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    Welcome to the PF. It looks like folks would need a Google Docs account to view those pictures. Can you upload PDFs or JPGs as attachments?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Aug 13, 2010 #3
    Whoops, my bad. I think this link will work with much better success:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/theodore.lindsey/PhysicsEquipment?feat=directlink [Broken]

    PS. Thanks for the speedy response.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Aug 13, 2010 #4


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    Wow, that's some antique stuff!

    The only one I think I can help with is photo #4/9. It looks like a lab demo box for experimenting with Lowpass and Highpass filter characteristics. You get either Lowpass or Highpass output characteristic, depending on whether you use the top rail or the bottom rail as the ground reference. Input from the signal generator is at the left.
  6. Aug 13, 2010 #5
    So it would appear that #4 and #9 are part of the same lab?

    It sure is old. That isn't even the most ancient stuff I'm finding while digging through the equipment room here. Perhaps one of the most amusing is a synchronous spark timer that has a note on it stating that it worked dated 1980. It appears that I'm the first to go through some of the really old stuff in quite some time.

    I found one more item that puzzled me: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/a0ZdcLtom55IduX9T1uW9g?feat=directlink [Broken]
    It appears to be some sort of motor...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Aug 13, 2010 #6
    My guess for some of the items:
    Image 712 - at least one of them looks like an instrument for measuring the angle of magnetic declination (if the needle is magnetic)

    Image 731 - a parallel plate capacitor. At least one plate can be moved by using the Plexiglas handle.

    Image 736 - some sort of electroscope

    Image 740 - Used to study buoyant force, maybe. Is there any outlet on the other side of the big sphere? Something to connect it to a pump?
  8. Aug 13, 2010 #7
    I agree with nasu's guesses(items 2 are actually called dip circles)
    In addition I think that item 6 is a variable spark gap(needs to be connected to a suitable supply eg an induction coil) and item 10 is a motor/generator.

    Item 8 could be a leyden jar.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  9. Aug 13, 2010 #8
    Item # 10 is a low voltage dc electric motor, possibly pre - 1900. It is series-connected and reversible. Look for a manufacturer's name on it. Do not put excess voltage on it. It is probably rated at 3 to 6 volts. The commutator is probably very dirty and oxidized, and does not conduct. Measure resistances, and do not exceed 1 amp (I = V/R).

    Bob S
  10. Aug 13, 2010 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    Item #2 appears to be three compasses, that can move in both vertical and horizontal directions (not at the same time).
  11. Aug 13, 2010 #10
    Yes they are called dip circles.In my post above I referred to item three instead of two.Having reading your post I had another look and corrected my mistake.
  12. Aug 16, 2010 #11
    Thanks for all your help. Once I knew what I was looking for, I was able to confirm each of those items and have had great success with the project. Thanks again for your help.

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