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ID number:  BIRRC-P0188
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Historic Physics Collection
Artist / Maker:  Physics Department Workshop
Title / Object name:  High speed rotor - Prototype
Object type:  Physics apparatus
Place made:  Birmingham University
Date made:  Probably 1945-1955
Materials:  Glass and wire
Measurements:  Diameter 25 cm, height 44 cm

From 1945 to the 1980s Professor P.B.Moon led a programme using high-speed rotors. These were made of stainless steel partially suspended magnetically in a vacuum and driven by a rotating magnetic field generated by surrounding coils. They were used initially to study chemical reactions of molecules batted to high velocities and later for the Doppler shifting of gamma ray resonances. A tip speed of 7250 km/h is recorded as the ‘fastest speed of any earth-bound object’ in the Guinness Book of Records for 1975.
The object in the Collection is a prototype. See also P0211 and P0364.

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