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Particle accelerator to decipher text from Archimedes

Posted on Sunday, May 22 2005 @ 02:16:13 CEST by

Scientists will use a particle accelerator to decipher a Medieval copy from a long-lost text from Greek mathematician Archimedes. The Stanford Linear Accelerator last week started using X-rays to decipher parts of the 174-page text that haven't been revealed yet.
While reading an article on the text, Stanford physicist Uwe Bergmann realized he could use a particle accelerator to detect small amounts of iron in the ink. The electrons speeding along the circular accelerator emit X-rays that can be used to cause the iron to fluoresce, or glow.

"Anything which contains iron will be shown, and anything that doesn't contain iron will not be shown," Bergmann said.
Most of the text has been revealed with digital cameras and processing techniques as well as with ultraviolet and infrared filters. The rest of the pages are expected to be deciphered within three to four years. Read more at Newsday



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