The Physics Instruments Museum preserves the collections of the Physics Department.

Scientific Instruments

The section dedicated to instruments is very rich and heterogeneous, testifying the variety of scientific collections belonging to the Physics Department.

The instruments cover a range stretching from the 17th century to the present day. A lot of information is provided about each instrument: the description of the instrument, its purpose, its use, a technical data sheet, an explanation of the restoration operations (even if some instruments still need to be restored), some historical notes and an essential bibliography.

The instruments are divided by type: mechanics – astronomy – electromagnetism – time measurement – optics – various instruments – acoustics – machine tools.

In particular, the Museum preserves the inventions made by Antonio Pacinotti, starting from the famous machine, the first DC dynamo-engine, to the electromagnetic traction devices. All these inventions are part of the Pacinotti Collection.

The restoration work carried out on 17 instruments – by Carlo Guidi – has revitalized this great heritage of the University of Pisa making it available to the public through exhibitions and publications.


The Museum collections are completed by important historical archives, such as the documentary part of the Pacinotti Fund, the Pacinotti Archive, the Fermi-Persico Archive and the Riccardo Felici Archive, currently preserved by the Library of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics and therefore by the University Library System (see on the page