X-rays uncover surprising techniques in the creation of art

PHYS.ORG | Angela Anderson:

Under beams of X-rays, the colors of art become the colors of chemistry. The mysterious blacks, reds and whites of ancient Greek pottery can be read in elements—iron, potassium, calcium and zinc—and art history may be rewritten. That’s the power of a growing collaboration between the Cantor Arts Center’s Art + Science Learning Lab, art and science faculty, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory… Read more

Image: A chemical map of Greek art revealed that a calcium-based color additive was used for white, which would have added an additional step. It also raised questions about the firing process due to the absence of zinc in the black regions. Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory