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VWN News: Leading edge facility to strip history bare
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 Leading edge facility to strip history bare

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Date posted: 16/02/2009

A new facility opening later this year at the Diamond synchrotron is set to revolutionise world heritage science. A new research platform soon to be available at the leading UK science facility, Diamond Light Source, will help uncover ancient secrets that have been locked away for centuries. For the first time ever, cultural heritage scientists will be able to scan and image large relics and artefacts up to two tonnes in weight in incredible precision. They will no longer be restricted to examining small items.

Speaking at the AAAS Meeting in Chicago Dr Jen Hiller, Diamond's resident archaeologist, announced that the UK synchrotron will open a powerful new experimental station this autumn. Called the Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing (JEEP) beamline, it will carry out experiments in a variety of areas including the growing field of world heritage science.

Dr Hiller explains, "Heritage scientists across the world are able to apply to use this unique beamline to delve deep inside precious ancient artefacts to unravel their secrets in a non-invasive way. Never before has it been possible to scan and image such large relics with such precision. Now is the time for researchers in this field to maximise this unique opportunity and consider how JEEP can help to advance their studies. "

"Thanks to the intensity of the X-rays produced by JEEP and its flexible space, researchers will be able to obtain a much higher resolution image, down to the scale of a few microns (less than the width of a human hair), and in significantly less time than the existing methods; we are talking about a matter of minutes as opposed to a number of hours. This finely detailed picture will enable scientists to see right inside an artefact helping them to obtain crucial information to piece together the story of its origin and history." continues Dr Hiller.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com



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