NTU Heritage Hall of Physics, set up in 2005, is located in the original Nuclear Physics Laboratory in NTU Building No.2. The exhibition in the hall includes the earliest Cockcroft-Walton Linear Accelerator in Asia and it’s correlative scientific relics for showing scientific research and education.
The first accelerator in NTU Nuclear Physics Laboratory was built by Professor Arakatsu Bunsaku, an authority on physics, and his team during the Japanese colonial regime. In 1934, Arakatsu’s team completed the first acceleration experiment –the first time in Asia, and shocked the academia in Japan. After World War II, NTU Department of Physics was set up. Under the leadership of Professor Tai Yuin-Kwei, the remaining members of Arakatsu’s team – Professor Ota Yoritsune, Assistant Hsu Yuin-Chi, Lin Song-Yung, Chou Muh-Chuen and Hsu Yi-Chuan rebuilt the high pressure accelerator and successfully repeated the experiment of smashing Lithium atom artificially in 1948. The exhibit at present was rebuilt after World War II.
Later, under the leadership of Professor Hsu Yuin-Chi, NTU team was devoted to refining heavy water and continually improving the ion source, accelerator, electromagnet equipment, and monitoring device. They also developed the techniques of carbon-14 dating method to assist Department of Geosciences and Department of Anthropology in researching. The accelerator was dismantled after Professor Hsu Yuin-Chi retired in 1985, but the parts were stowed away for safekeeping by technicians.
This Heritage Hall is the reconstruction of the laboratory in the past. It is the witness to physicists’ insistence on their dreams and courage for pursuing scientific truth in Taiwan history of science. In 2005, the team of Professor Hsu Yuin-Chi led the young generation to reassemble the linear accelerator and set up Physics Heritage Hall for spreading scientific education. The image records and documentaries of oral history were also made for establishing the scientific context.
The Heritage Hall exhibits not only the main body of accelerator but also other related materials used at that time, such as the antique scale preserved to present from the age of Taipei Imperial University, the Taiwan-specific radioactive-ore “Hokutolite”, the hand mechanical computer, the barometer, the hand cloud chamber for monitoring tracks of charge particles, and various glass instruments blown by old technicians in Department of Physics during the early periods. At present, teaching instruments for general physics experiments and resources of heritage were newly added. It is the best channel to learn knowledge of popular science with these papers of popular science explaining profound theories in simple language and with precious documentaries of oral history.