Physics Museum

Physics Museum

This element belongs to the categories: Museums

Huge collection of XIX-XX century physics laboratory equipment. An original dynamo by Antonio Pacinotti is on display along with a full-scaled Foucault pendulum.


The Department of Physics of the University of Cagliari began its activities during the year 1626, under the reign of Philip III of Spain. Then, from 1755 Carlo Emanuele III, King of Sardinia, began a wide-reaching work of reorganization and expansion, which led to the official inauguration of the renewed university on the 3rd of November 1764.

At present the Museum possesses some two hundred and fifty apparatuses and instruments dating back to the 19th century. In particular, the number of instruments increased greatly following an extraordinary grant of three thousand lire of Gian Pietro Radicati, Chair of Experimental Physics.

The later presence in Cagliari of Antonio Pacinotti (1873-1881), brought to the Physics Museum one of the three Dynamoelectric Machines which is the most prestigious piece of the collection.

During the first decades of the XX century were added 150 new apparatuses and instruments perfectly restored, classified and indexed.

Because of the savage "cannibalization" which took place in the immediate post-war period, when funds available for research were scanty or non-existent, the work of finding, reconstituting, restoring and cataloguing items is still ongoing.

One of the most important apparatuses in the Museum is the big Foucault pendulum and there is also an interactive section, available to the public, for a simple and pleasant introduction to the world of science and physics.



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