The Dot Physics game inspired us to put up this photo from the Institute's new calendar,* which features images of (mostly) old scientific equipment.
In case you haven't guessed, it was called a "tamnun" (Hebrew for octopus) or, more formally, a Multi-Counter Gamma-Ray Goniometer. It was developed (and patented) at the Institute in the 1970s for use in Tandem Accelerator experiments. The multiple movable arms are meant to grip up to six gamma-ray detectors at precisely calculated angles.
Patent notwithstanding, it does not appear to have been a huge seller, and even the old-timers here were hard-pressed to remember exactly what it was. Only some detective work on the part of Doron, who assiduously dug through moldering patent files, revealed its function.
*The Hebrew year starts around September, and to please everyone, we put out a 16 month calendar -- September 2010 to December 2011- to cover both year spans.
I'm certain that the Daleks are behind this one.
Yes, most of us watching or renadig SF are doing so because we enjoy the stories, not because we are attempting to learn about what the future may hold. If the latter happens, that's fine, but it is not a necessary ingredient. If SF were constrained by what rational present-day futurists believe, it would probably not be nearly as enjoyable.