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Physicists Use Ion Beams To Detect Art Forgery

Nuclear physicists are using accelerated ion beams to pinpoint the age and origin of material used in pottery, painting, metalwork and other art. The results of their tests can serve as powerful forensic tools to reveal counterfeit art work, without the destruction of any sample as required in some chemical analysis.

“Art experts play an important role in identifying the style, history and context of a painting, but a solid scientific basis for the proper identification and classification of a piece of art must rely on information from other sources, “ said Philippe Collon and Michael Wiescher with the University of Notre Dame.

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