Ion Beams Shed Light on Forged Art

Jan 25, 2012

Best journal article title of the week? "Accelerated ion beams for art forensics." Frankly, they had me at "accelerated ion beams" - the beams could have been for almost anything - but using it to stop art fakes is even that much cooler. (My first thought was that the title was referring to some kind of public awareness campaign, that ion beams were taking a stand on forgery, a la "People for Pizza" or "Citizens Against Evil.") And unlike chemical testing, it does so without damaging the original work.

Anyway, researchers at Notre Dame are using the technique to scan Native American art from the Southwest, but it's very likely to end up being used to spot forgeries in addition to doing archaeological work.