Museum of the History of Physics

Astrolabes, telescopes, microscopes, steam engines ...
A visit to the Museum of the History of Physics at the University of Padova is a journey through time, from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution and on to the science of our own time.
With its array of precious artefacts – many of which are extremely rare, if not entirely unique – the collection not only recounts the fascinating history of scientific thought and technological development in general, it is also a precious record of the physics research and teaching carried out at the University of Padova, a tradition that dates back to the eighteenth century and continues to this day. The instruments and devices themselves tell the story of the scientists who used them – their ideas, their experiments – and the web of contacts that grew up across the centuries between the University of Padova and the scientific community in Italy and abroad.

Today, much of the museum’s work is focused on conserving the most important instruments used today by local institutions for physics research, no mean feat considering the size, quantity and characteristics of some of the equipment involved. It may not be easy, but it is a n important mission, since it is only in this way that the museum can preserve its identity going forward: a university museum whose value and reputation are founded not simply on the intrinsic value of the individual instruments, but on the overall worth of a collection that is more than the sum of its parts.

The exhibits on display include a selection of the museum’s precious, original scientific instruments and a range of interactive displays and multimedia simulations.


Museum of the History of Physics
Via Loredan, 10 – 35131 Padova
Part of the “Galileo Galilei” Department of Physics
Tel. +39 049 8277303


Curator: Sofia Talas
“Galileo Galilei” Department of Physics
Via Marzolo, 8 – 35131 Padova
Tel +39 049 8277153 – fax +39 049 8277102

“Galileo Galilei” Department of Physics and Astronomy (DFA)
Via Marzolo 8 – 35131 Padova
Tel +39 049 8277088 – fax +39 049 8277102

Head of Department: Prof. Francesca Soramel

Departmental delegate to the museum: Prof. Alessandro Pizzella
Tel +39 049 8278228