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Neutrons for cultural heritage - techniques, sensors, and detection

DOI: 10.3390/s20020502 DOI Help

Authors: Giulia Festa (CENTRO FERMI—Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”) , Giovanni Romanelli (ISIS Facility) , Roberto Senesi (CENTRO FERMI—Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”; Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”; CNR-IPCF Sezione di Messina) , Laura Arcidiacono (Diamond Light Source; University College of London Institute of Archaeology) , Claudia Scatigno (CENTRO FERMI—Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”; Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”) , Stewart F. Parker (ISIS Facility) , M. Paula M. Marques (University of Coimbra) , Carla Andreani (CENTRO FERMI—Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”; Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Sensors , VOL 20

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2020

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Advances in research in Cultural Heritage see increasing application of a multidisciplinary approach and the combined use of physical and chemical characterization of artefacts that can be used to define their structure and their state of conservation, also providing valuable information in selecting the most suitable microclimatic conditions for the exhibition environment. This approach provides a platform for a synergic collaboration amongst researchers, restorers, conservators, and archaeologists. Existing state-of-the-art technologies for neutron-based methods are currently being applied to the study of objects of historical and cultural interest in several neutron-beam facilities around the world. Such techniques are non-invasive and non-destructive and are, therefore, ideal to provide structural information about artefacts, such as their composition, presence of alterations due to the environmental conditions, inclusions, structure of the bulk, manufacturing techniques, and elemental composition, which provide an overall fingerprint of the object's characteristics, thanks to the nature of the interaction of neutrons with matter. Here, we present an overview of the main neutron methods for the characterization of materials of interest in Cultural Heritage and we provide a brief introduction to the sensors and detectors that are used in this framework. We conclude with some case studies underlining the impact of these applications in different archaeological and historical contexts.

Journal Keywords: neutron techniques; cultural heritage; non-destructive and non-invasive characterization

Subject Areas: Archaeological and Cultural Heritage


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sensors-20-00502.pdf