University of Sydney, Physics, and Astronomy…


Here’s a gallery of random pictures I took on the way to the Physics Department at the University of Sydney this morning.

The academic year at the University of Sydney is about to start, with the new intake of students beginning to arrive next week and the first lectures taking place the week after that. The rows of tents are for the various student societies which will be hoping to recruit new members. The University was founded in 1850 and the architectural style of the older buildings on campus is what you might call Victorian Gothic Revival. There are also buildings dating from the 1920s, such as the Faculty of Medicine (1922) and the Physics Building (1924); the latter seems much bigger on the inside than the outside, and also has a new building next to it devoted to nanoscience.

I’ve posted before about the famous optical instrument manufacturer, the Grubb Telescope Company, founded in Dublin by Thomas Grubb and later renamed Grubb Parsons after its relocation to Newcastle upon Tyne. I’ve posted about other connections too, including the presence in the Physics Department in Barcelona of a refracting telescope made by Grubb. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw yet another Grubb Telescope near the entrance to the Physics building of the University of Sydney, this one made in 1893. This is further evidence – as if it were needed – that, in its time, the Grubb Telescope Company really was the world leader in optical instrumentation.

P.S. The later manifestation of the Grubb Telescope Company – Grubb Parsons – also has Australian connections, including making the primary mirror for the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) and building the UK Schmidt situated next to the AAT at Siding Spring Observatory (about 500 km from Sydney).

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