Chabert and his Assistant

Chabert and his assistant in Cape Breton in 1750/51 determining the time by taking a measure of the Moon´s angular distance from the Sun with an astronomical quadrant. Notice the clock, globe and telescope in the tent.

Voyage fait par ordre du roi en 1750 et 1751, dans l´Amérique Septentrionale
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canada Museum of Science and Technology, Musée de la civilisation, Stewart Museum, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, University Health Network Artifact Collection, University of Toronto Museum of Scientific Instruments, University of Toronto Museum Studies Program, Suzanne Board, Dr. Randall C. Brooks, Sylvie Toupin, Ana-Laura Baz, Jean-François Gauvin, Betsy Little, Paola Poletto, Dr. James Low, David Kasserra, Kathryn Rumbold, David Pantalony, Dr. Thierry Ruddel, Kim Svendsen
c. 1753
© 2008, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.


Government-funded science is not a 20th century phenomenon. British and French governments supported scientific activities to meet their needs since the 17th century. These activities included providing measuring devices for standardization of weights and measures, surveying for creation of maps, and supporting expeditions to observe the transits of Venus.

Accurate navigational charts were very important for the economy. When the Marquis de Chabert in 1750 explored and charted the shores of Acadia and Newfoundland, he had the benefit of an observatory--probably the first fixed structure for scientific work in Canada--at Fortress Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. His work was important enough to be published by the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

The British followed suit with similar surveys in the 1760s under the direction of such military men as J.F.W. DesBarres and Samuel Holland whose charts were published in the Atlantic Neptune. In the 19th century, William Fitzwilliam Owen and Henry Bayfield continued improving nautical charts from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes, laying the groundwork for the Hydrographic Survey of Canada.
Government-funded science is not a 20th century phenomenon. British and French governments supported scientific activities to meet their needs since the 17th century. These activities included providing measuring devices for standardization of weights and measures, surveying for creation of maps, and supporting expeditions to observe the transits of Venus.

Accurate navigational charts were very important for the economy. When the Marquis de Chabert in 1750 explored and charted the shores of Acadia and Newfoundland, he had the benefit of an observatory--probably the first fixed structure for scientific work in Canada--at Fortress Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. His work was important enough to be published by the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

The British followed suit with similar surveys in the 1760s under the direction of such military men as J.F.W. DesBarres and Samuel Holland whose charts were published in the Atlantic Neptune. In the 19th century, William Fitzwilliam Owen and Henry Bayfield continued improving nautical charts from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes, laying the groundwork for the Hydrographic Survey of Canada.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

As the population of the Maritimes, Lower and Upper Canada grew, the economic potential of the land increased. People began to recognize mineral deposits that could be exploited and William Logan proposed the creation of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in 1840 with headquarters and labs in Montreal.

Growing out of the GSC work was a need for better topographical maps--the Topographic Survey and Geodetic Surveys were created to supplement and expand the GSC’s work. The pinnacle of their 19th century work was the survey of the Prairies and Rockies as the Canadian Pacific Railway pushed westward. The surveys of the Rockies led to some innovative methods, primarily by Edouard Deville, including the photographic survey camera he developed. He later introduced aerial photographic surveys into the Topographical Survey’s work.

Because of Canada’s vast, remote territories, we became leaders in aerial survey techniques up to and including the most sophisticated digital techniques used today from aircraft and spacecraft (RADARSAT).
As the population of the Maritimes, Lower and Upper Canada grew, the economic potential of the land increased. People began to recognize mineral deposits that could be exploited and William Logan proposed the creation of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in 1840 with headquarters and labs in Montreal.

Growing out of the GSC work was a need for better topographical maps--the Topographic Survey and Geodetic Surveys were created to supplement and expand the GSC’s work. The pinnacle of their 19th century work was the survey of the Prairies and Rockies as the Canadian Pacific Railway pushed westward. The surveys of the Rockies led to some innovative methods, primarily by Edouard Deville, including the photographic survey camera he developed. He later introduced aerial photographic surveys into the Topographical Survey’s work.

Because of Canada’s vast, remote territories, we became leaders in aerial survey techniques up to and including the most sophisticated digital techniques used today from aircraft and spacecraft (RADARSAT).

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Photographic survey camera

Edouard Deville´s photographic survey camera was key to mapping the Rockies in the 1890s. Two or more photos can be combined to plot maps with contours of height and distance (topographic maps). Canada Science and Technology Museum

Ross
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canada Museum of Science and Technology, Musée de la civilisation, Stewart Museum, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, University Health Network Artifact Collection, University of Toronto Museum of Scientific Instruments, University of Toronto Museum Studies Program, Suzanne Board, Dr. Randall C. Brooks, Sylvie Toupin, Ana-Laura Baz, Jean-François Gauvin, Betsy Little, Paola Poletto, Dr. James Low, David Kasserra, Kathryn Rumbold, David Pantalony, Dr. Thierry Ruddel, Kim Svendsen
1890 - 1895
680392
© 2008, Canada Science and Technology Museum. All Rights Reserved.


The Atomic Energy Project (AEP) was established by the National Research Council (NRC) in Montreal early in World War II, using scientists from Canada, Britain and the US. Considerable progress was made but the nature of the activities soon made it obvious that a more remote site was required both for security and safety reasons. New labs were established at Chalk River, some 200 km northwest of Ottawa, where the ZEEP (Zero Energy Experimental Pile) reactor was used to demonstrate the correctness of the theories being developed. The nuclear chain-reactions at this reactor began in September 1945--in physics jargon, this is when the reactor "went critical." It paved the way for the NRX reactor (and later the NRU reactor) as an intense source of neutrons, fundamental atomic particles, for research experiments.

In 1952 the AEP was ended and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) was made a crown corporation to carry on research and development of the reactor program, with the view to making it available for commercial use. Though born of wartime research, the AEP/AECL and its facilities have been used for peaceful uses such as fundamental research into the nature o Read More
The Atomic Energy Project (AEP) was established by the National Research Council (NRC) in Montreal early in World War II, using scientists from Canada, Britain and the US. Considerable progress was made but the nature of the activities soon made it obvious that a more remote site was required both for security and safety reasons. New labs were established at Chalk River, some 200 km northwest of Ottawa, where the ZEEP (Zero Energy Experimental Pile) reactor was used to demonstrate the correctness of the theories being developed. The nuclear chain-reactions at this reactor began in September 1945--in physics jargon, this is when the reactor "went critical." It paved the way for the NRX reactor (and later the NRU reactor) as an intense source of neutrons, fundamental atomic particles, for research experiments.

In 1952 the AEP was ended and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) was made a crown corporation to carry on research and development of the reactor program, with the view to making it available for commercial use. Though born of wartime research, the AEP/AECL and its facilities have been used for peaceful uses such as fundamental research into the nature of the atom and materials in general, for nuclear power generation, and for medical applications.

One of the problems that the AEP scientists encountered was the lack of instruments with which to do their work. The technology for the relatively new discipline often just did not exist.

Need prompted design of a range of portable radiation monitors with cable connected probes. Designs included Geiger counters for beta and gamma rays, and scintillation probes for alpha rays. These found wide application in monitoring for radioactive contamination and health monitoring--a constant concern at the AEP.

An evacuated torsion electroscope, a modification of an early model, was made by Hugh Carmichael and his group to detect gamma rays.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Atomic Energy Project at Chalk River

The ZEEP reactor, the first reactor to go critical outside the US (1945) was in the white building on the left. The ZEEP reactor was built to confirm that the principles used to design the NRX reactor were correct but was used for experiments for many years. The ZEEP reactor is preserved in storage at AECL. NRX was decommissioned in the 1980s. The latest generation of reactor, the Maple Leaf reactor, is being built on the ZEEP site largely to prepare isotopes used in medical diagnosis and treatments. Canada supplies 80% of the World´s needs!

Unknown
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canada Museum of Science and Technology, Musée de la civilisation, Stewart Museum, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, University Health Network Artifact Collection, University of Toronto Museum of Scientific Instruments, University of Toronto Museum Studies Program, Suzanne Board, Dr. Randall C. Brooks, Sylvie Toupin, Ana-Laura Baz, Jean-François Gauvin, Betsy Little, Paola Poletto, Dr. James Low, David Kasserra, Kathryn Rumbold, David Pantalony, Dr. Thierry Ruddel, Kim Svendsen

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.


Portable radiation detector

The "Super-Lili" Geiger counter was developed by AEP scientists as a battery-operated detector for radioactive particles. It was named for a well-known Montreal dancer. Measures radiation from alpha, beta and gamma sources. Canada Science and Technology Museum

National Research Council (Atomic Energy Project)
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canada Museum of Science and Technology, Musée de la civilisation, Stewart Museum, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, University Health Network Artifact Collection, University of Toronto Museum of Scientific Instruments, University of Toronto Museum Studies Program, Suzanne Board, Dr. Randall C. Brooks, Sylvie Toupin, Ana-Laura Baz, Jean-François Gauvin, Betsy Little, Paola Poletto, Dr. James Low, David Kasserra, Kathryn Rumbold, David Pantalony, Dr. Thierry Ruddel, Kim Svendsen
c. 1945
980223
© 2008, Canada Science and Technology Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Electroscope

Adopting the technology of 18th century electrical experimenters, the AEP gamma ray electroscope uses the slow decay of electrical charge on gold leaf foils. The thick lead case prevents alpha and beta particles from affecting the gold leaf but gamma rays cause a slow discharge with the gold leaves gradually coming together. Used to measure radiation from weak gamma ray sources. Canada Science and Technology Museum

National Research Council (Atomic Energy Project)
Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canada Museum of Science and Technology, Musée de la civilisation, Stewart Museum, Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, University Health Network Artifact Collection, University of Toronto Museum of Scientific Instruments, University of Toronto Museum Studies Program, Suzanne Board, Dr. Randall C. Brooks, Sylvie Toupin, Ana-Laura Baz, Jean-François Gauvin, Betsy Little, Paola Poletto, Dr. James Low, David Kasserra, Kathryn Rumbold, David Pantalony, Dr. Thierry Ruddel, Kim Svendsen
1945 - 1952
980209
© 2008, Canada Science and Technology Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Identify and appreciate the way history and culture shape a society’s science and technology
  • Describe scientific and technological developments, past and present, and appreciate their impact on individuals and societies
  • Appreciate the contribution of Canadians to science and technology on the global stage

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans