This book provides an extensive overview of the application of neutron characterization techniques in cultural heritage to a broad audience and will be of interest to both scientists and non-scientists in the field. Archaeologists, paleontologists, restaurateurs and conservators, historians and collectors will be fascinated by the wealth of information that can be obtained using neutron techniques, while material scientists and engineers will find details of the experimental techniques and materials properties that can be determined.
Neutrons, due to their weak interactions with materials, provide a penetrating, but non-invasive probe of bulk properties. They allow the characterization of the composition and mechanical properties of materials, helping to answer questions related to the dating, the manufacturing process or the state of degradation of artefacts. They allow detailed interrogation of the internal structures of objects that may be otherwise hidden from view.
The first section of the book is dedicated to stories describing spectacular discoveries brought about by the use of neutron techniques in a range of applications. The second section covers the experimental techniques in appropriate detail: basic principles, limitations and fields of application.
Dr. Nikolay Kardjilov is a researcher at the Institute of Applied Materials of the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB), Germany. He is beamline scientists responsible for the neutron imaging instrument CONRAD-2 at the research reactor BER-2.
His research interests relate to development of new experimental techniques for investigation of the structure and property of materials from the science and the industry with the help of neutron radiation.
Dr. Kardjilov has designed and build the neutron imaging instrument at HZB and has worked on the development of methods using different contrast mechanisms like phase- and diffraction-contrast imaging, visualizing of magnetic fields by polarized neutrons and high-resolution applications. These methods are implemented nowadays at different facilities worldwide and are provided to the user community for addressing a broad spectrum of scientific and industrial problems.
In the field of archaeological research he worked together with guest researchers on different subjects related to investigation of underwater logged objects from sheep wrecks near Sicily, Italy, structure analysis of ancient Egyptian bronze statues and material characterization of old Japanese swords and armor components.
Dr. Giulia Festa is an experimental physicist. Her research interests relate to the development of neutron instrumentation for applications on materials and, in particular, applied to the study of materials of archaeological and cultural interest.
Dr. Festa has been working on the development of various neutron instrumentation and devices for gamma and neutron detection (Silicon Photo-Multiplier technology, neutron radiative capture-based counting techniques, gamma spectroscopy). She has been involved in European Research projects developing ancillary equipment to be used for emerging neutron imaging techniques on historical objects as well as software for data analysis.
In the field of archaeological research Dr. Festa carried out several multidisciplinary studies such as an integrated neutron analysis of the Ghiberti East Door from the Florence Baptistery determining state of conservation and manufacturing technique, and the characterisation of construction methods in musical instruments from the‘Fondo Antico della Biblioteca del Sacro Convento’ in Assisi.
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