Nuclear and atomic physics techniques in cultural heritage science

General interest seminar

Nuclear and atomic physics techniques in cultural heritage science

  • Event time: 5:00pm until 6:00pm
  • Event date: 9th March 2023
  • Speaker: (University of Notre Dame)
  • Location: Elm Lecture Theatre, Nucleus Building (ground floor), King's Buildings

Event details

All students and staff welcome.

Meet us at 16.30 outside the Elm Lecture Theatre, Nucleus Building for tea and cakes prior to the talk.


Michael Wiescher, Freimann Professor of Physics, University of Notre Dame, USA and Wolfson Fellow, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Nuclear and atomic physics techniques play an increasingly important role in cultural heritage science, the analysis of historical artifacts to determine age, origin, and provenance for a deeper understanding of ancient cultures and developments. These studies are not only important for liberal art communities, but provide also a unique opportunity to offer non-physics students a better insight, understanding, and appreciation of nuclear physics by hands-on participation in these projects. A new initiative in cultural heritage physics has been developed at the Nuclear Science Laboratory (NSL) at Notre Dame, using a variety a of accelerator and non-accelerator based techniques. We will focus on three projects associated with the development of coin and paper money development in the Roman, The Spanish, and the early American Empire. These projects utilized a wide variety on analytical techniques available at the NSL and provided new insight into the development of metallurgical and papermaking techniques for manufacturing, while making money. This work is funded by a special grant of the University of Notre Dame and by the National Science Foundation.


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About General interest seminars

Our General Interest Seminars are an opportunity for distinguished speakers to present new research in physics and related areas. The material presented is suitable for undergraduate level upwards and all members of the School are welcome to attend..

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