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X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) is a non-destructive technique for measuring the elemental composition of different materials. Using the XRF system to measure paint samples will give historians a new way to study paintings without destroying them. Our XRF system is limited by the source’s Molybdenum target, giving a maximum x-ray energy of 17.5 keV. Although this limits the elements we can measure, we can detect several major components of paints. Our work has consisted mostly of 2-dimensional XRF analysis of paintings and we are working on writing computer code to reproduce our test painting on the computer. Future work will entail gathering 3-dimensional XRF data, enabling us to “see” paintings underneath other paintings.


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  • Event location
    • Special Collections

  • Event date
    • 2 April 2013

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Sarah Formica