Monday, August 07, 2006

X-rays reveal Archimedes' hidden writings

I love stories like this. They are positive results of modern technology. It will be wonderful to see what Archimedes had to say in his original writings when they are able to read it!

X-rays reveal Archimedes' hidden writings
Particle accelerator helps decipher fragile 10th century manuscript
AP Updated: 5:26 a.m. PT Aug 7, 2006


SAN FRANCISCO - Previously hidden writings of the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes are being uncovered with powerful X-ray beams nearly 800 years after a Christian monk scrubbed off the text and wrote over it with prayers.


Over the past week, researchers at Stanford University's Linear Accelerator Center in Menlo Park have been using X-rays to decipher a fragile 10th century manuscript that contains the only copies of some of Archimedes' most important works.


The X-rays, generated by a particle accelerator, cause tiny amounts of iron left by the original ink to glow without harming the delicate goatskin parchment.


"We are gaining new insights into one of the founding fathers of western science," said William Noel, curator of manuscripts at Baltimore's Walters Art Museum, which organized the effort.  "It is the most difficult imaging challenge on any medieval document because the book is in such terrible condition."
(The rest of the story found here.)

1 comment:

PreschoolersandPeace said...

Thanks for sharing.