Friday, July 05, 2013

Using lasers to read the DSS?

Duke University discovers that laser can be used to examine art without causing damage

(Washington Post)

The pump-probe laser system provides a three-dimensional view of any part of a painting without taking a chip. Researchers can zoom in and out, like looking at a layer cake, and separate colors to see what was originally on the canvas.

Warren explained that the pump-probe laser uses two laser pulses of different colors and varies the delay between the pulses. The first one “pumps” the pigment and the second one “probes” what happened to the energy deposited by the first one.


While the laser system isn’t yet optimal, it is attracting attention from other conservationists, including those who care for the Dead Sea Scrolls, Warren said. They want to know if the pump-probe can let them read what’s in scrolls that are too fragile to unwind. ...
Like I just said, non-invasive scanning rules.

Bit by bit, a letter at a time, whatever it takes. Until we're done.