The present role of small particle accelerators for the study of Cultural Heritage
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Firenze, Firenze, Italy
2 INFN, Sezione di Firenze, Firenze, Italy
3 Centro per la conservazione e il restauro dei Beni Culturali, Torino, Italy
Accepted: 22 February 2011
Published online: 19 April 2011
The role that small particle accelerators play in the field of applications to Cultural Heritage (for material analysis and dating) is critically discussed also in comparison to other techniques, pointing out pros and cons. As to material analysis, some peculiarities of ion beam techniques may be now less unique than they were perhaps ten years ago, but these techniques can still reach unrivalled results thanks to a smart use of their potential: for instance, they can provide elemental maps and resolve layer structures. Concerning Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, its unique performance for radiocarbon dating -- as to sensitivity, precision and quasi non-destructivity -- is described, and perspectives for further improvements are presented.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer, 2011