In Unidentified Museum Objects I, we asked for help identifying some mysterious whatchamacallits in the collection of our very own NIST museum ... and you enthusiastically responded. The Twitterverse helped us close the case on item 0266, and NIST staff sent in a number of leads on some of the other gizmos.
Read on for some theories on that last round of objects and to see photos of even more unidentified doohickeys.
Three theories and one answer
Tobias Huber, JQI postdoc: “Looks like the heart of a liquid flow cryostat, perhaps an early prototype. The whole device would need to sit in vacuum for thermal insulation. The brass (copper?) disk could be a heat exchanger, where liquid helium is pumped through the piping...”
Adam Creuziger, materials research engineer, NIST Center for Automotive Lightweighting: “Looks similar to many induction coils for heating.”
Ricky Sprow, mechanical engineer, NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR): “Possibly a device for remote valve operation or pressure control. Or, a revolving sample chamber.”
We received some theories on what this could be, but the definitive answer came from the manufacturer of the device via Twitter.
More unsolved mysteries!
Three new (old) unidentified museum objects are pictured below. Any ideas as to what they could be?
If you’ve got any inkling of what one of these thingamabobs might be, leave us a comment!
Edited April 17, 2018, to update featured photo and enlarge story photos