Nuclear tools for cultural heritage
Dr. J.C. Dran
Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France
ABSTRACT: Among the great variety of techniques implemented for the knowledge and the conservation of works of art and archaeology, those derived from nuclear science have gained a predominant status.
They include methods that provide either morphological information such as beta and gamma-graphy, chemical information exemplified by neutron activation analysis and ion beam analysis, or dating on the basis of thermo-luminescence or radiocarbon.
In addition, some conservation treatments are based on gamma irradiation such as disinfection and polymerisation of restoration products.
After a survey of these techniques, a description of those available at the Center for research and restoration of the museums of France will be given with the illustration of case studies.