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Neutrons for Cultural Heritage—Techniques, Sensors, and Detection

CENTRO FERMI—Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”, Piazza del Viminale 1, 00184 Rome, Italy
ISIS Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK
NAST Centre and Physics Department, Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca, Scientifica 1, 00133, Rome, Italy
CNR-IPCF Sezione di Messina, Viale Ferdinando Stagno d’Alcontres 37, 98158 Messina, Italy
Diamond Light Source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE, UK
UCL, University College of London Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, Kings Cross, London WC1H 0PY, UK
Química-Física Molecular, University of Coimbra, 3004-535 Coimbra, Portugal
Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(2), 502;
Received: 24 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Portable Sensors for Environment and Cultural Heritage)
Advances in research in Cultural Heritage see increasing application of a multidisciplinary approach and the combined use of physical and chemical characterization of artefacts that can be used to define their structure and their state of conservation, also providing valuable information in selecting the most suitable microclimatic conditions for the exhibition environment. This approach provides a platform for a synergic collaboration amongst researchers, restorers, conservators, and archaeologists. Existing state-of-the-art technologies for neutron-based methods are currently being applied to the study of objects of historical and cultural interest in several neutron-beam facilities around the world. Such techniques are non-invasive and non-destructive and are, therefore, ideal to provide structural information about artefacts, such as their composition, presence of alterations due to the environmental conditions, inclusions, structure of the bulk, manufacturing techniques, and elemental composition, which provide an overall fingerprint of the object’s characteristics, thanks to the nature of the interaction of neutrons with matter. Here, we present an overview of the main neutron methods for the characterization of materials of interest in Cultural Heritage and we provide a brief introduction to the sensors and detectors that are used in this framework. We conclude with some case studies underlining the impact of these applications in different archaeological and historical contexts. View Full-Text
Keywords: neutron techniques; cultural heritage; non-destructive and non-invasive characterization neutron techniques; cultural heritage; non-destructive and non-invasive characterization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Festa, G.; Romanelli, G.; Senesi, R.; Arcidiacono, L.; Scatigno, C.; Parker, S.F.; Marques, M.P.M.; Andreani, C. Neutrons for Cultural Heritage—Techniques, Sensors, and Detection. Sensors 2020, 20, 502.

AMA Style

Festa G, Romanelli G, Senesi R, Arcidiacono L, Scatigno C, Parker SF, Marques MPM, Andreani C. Neutrons for Cultural Heritage—Techniques, Sensors, and Detection. Sensors. 2020; 20(2):502.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Festa, Giulia, Giovanni Romanelli, Roberto Senesi, Laura Arcidiacono, Claudia Scatigno, Stewart F. Parker, M. P. M. Marques, and Carla Andreani. 2020. "Neutrons for Cultural Heritage—Techniques, Sensors, and Detection" Sensors 20, no. 2: 502.

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