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The museum includes scientific instruments of physics and astronomy from the 18th, 19th and the first half of the 20th century. In particular, it preserves the inventions made by the Pisan Antonio Pacinotti, starting from the famous macchinetta, the first direct current dynamo-motor, up to the electromagnetic traction apparatuses: all inventions that are part of the Pacinotti Fund. The section dedicated to instruments is very rich and heterogeneous. The pieces in the collection are subdivided by type: mechanics, astronomy, electromagnetism, time measurement, optics, acoustics, machine tools.
The museum collections are completed by important archives, such as the documentary part of the Pacinotti Fund, the Pacinotti Archives, the Fermi-Persico Archives and the Riccardo Felici Archives, which are conserved by the University Library System.
The Museo degli Strumenti di Fisica operates in collaboration with the Ludoteca Scientifica: the interactive-didactic exhibition intends to reproduce, in a Galilean spirit, the experiments that have made the history of science and scientists. A place where, playing and having fun, children, teens and adults, learn to know and understand science. The events organized are paths between games and experiments that introduce the questions and the most compelling aspects of classical and modern physics, from Galileo to Einstein up to the innovations of the XXI century.