Collection of Historical Instruments of Physics

The Department of Physics and Chemistry of the University of Palermo has a rich collection of scientific instruments, whose oldest ones  date back to the early  of 19th century.

The collection, consisting of about 500 pieces, was built  over time, since the beginning of 19th century when Domenico Scinà obtained the chair of Experimental Physics, until the  mid of the 20th century.

Scinà himself pushed the University of Palermo to acquire some instruments, to provide a didactic-demonstrative aid to the lessons.These ones, were later joined by other research instruments, added to the collection.

The pieces of the collection concern different areas of  Physics such as Mechanics, Acoustics, Calorimetry, Optics and Electromagnetism, as evidence of the prevailing interests of the scientific research conducted in Palermo.

Among the instruments conserved are the following: the Armillary brass Sphere made by the English “mechanic”  Henry Drechsler, disciple of the eminent London builder Jesse Ramsden; the four prisms spectroscope of Duboscq, the optical bench of Melloni, built by the Ruhmkorff workshops of Paris, and above all, the ionization chamber used by Emilio Segrè, Nobel prize winner for Physics in 1959, for the scientific research that led him, together with Carlo Perrier, to the discovery of Technetium, in the laboratories of the former Physics Institute of the University of Palermo.


Collection of Historical Instruments of Physics

Responsible Prof. Aurelio Agliolo Gallitto

Via Archirafi, 36 - first floor - Palermo

For reservations: collezionefisica@unipa.it

Accessible to visitors with reduced mobility

Free entry

Centro Servizi Sistema Museale di Ateneo

Università degli Studi di Palermo

Via Lincoln, 2 (Orto Botanico)

90133 PALERMO, Italia

Codice Fiscale 80023730825, Partita IVA 00605880822


091 238 96775 - 091 238 93781