L.R. Ingersoll Physics Museum (est. 1918)

The L.R. Ingersoll Physics Museum was conceived by Professor Snow and Professor Ingersoll in 1917 and was fully established in 1918 when the construction of Sterling Hall was competed. Which made the physics museum one of the first such museums in this country. Following Professor Ingersoll death in 1958, the physics department renamed the museum to Leonard R. Ingersoll Physics Museum to honor his dedicated for the success of the museum. Keeping with tradition, all exhibits are designed by the faculty and staff, then constructed by the departmental shops, staff, and students. Some of them were purchased and then modified to be used in the museum.                         

The Ingersoll Physics Museum is free to public and runs on donations. Although no reservation is required to visit, we do schedule guided tours for groups. Our exhibits give our guests a hands-on experience of physical concepts ranging from mechanics to modern physics in a demonstrational kid-friendly environment. Our 1500sf museum consists of over 65 exhibits with some rotating in and out each year. In conjunction to our museum, you can find historical instruments and photos of the Nobel Prize Winners in Physics from 1901-1993 on display along the corridors of Chamberlin Hall.


The physics museum is located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on the second floor of Chamberlin Hall, at 1150 University Avenue. (The corner of University Ave. and Charter St.)  Map

Hours & Info:

The museum is open Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. We are closed on weekends, legal holidays or when the physics department itself is closed. Please check the tour calendar for other closure dates and open houses.


©2013 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System