Physics office of Georg Friedrich Parrot

The exhibition on the 7th floor of the museum is dedicated to Georg Friedrich Parrot (1767–1852), a physicist and the first Rector of the University of Tartu when it reopened in 1802.

The collection of the University of Tartu Museum holds a valuable set of physics equipment from the late 18th and early 19th century, which are displayed in a room known as G. F. Parrot’s office. Two centuries ago, Parrot founded the best physics laboratory in the Russian Empire, which allowed to do experiments and demonstrations in all major branches of physics, and where scientists began to engage in physics in its modern sense. The physics office displays historic science equipment, which can still perfectly explain the fundamentals of the laws of physics today.

In the exhibition, special attention is paid to electricity, which was a new and unknown field of research in the beginning of the 19th century. G. F. Parrot made several important scientific discoveries in this field, being the first scientist in the world to correctly explain the functioning of the Voltaic pile. Namely, Parrot understood that electric tension builds in the pile as a result of the chemical reaction between metals and acid.

The exhibition in Parrot’s office explains the topics of electricity in a simple and easily comprehensible way. Here you can make electrons move, build a working electric engine, study conductors, semiconductors and insulators, explore the working principle of a battery and test out Ohm’s law.

Composed by: Virge Lell, Lea Leppik, Mairo Rääsk, Risto Sarv, Maris Tuuling and Henn Voolaid. Designed by: Evelin Urm.