"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Sep 13, 2007

Diamond Synchrotron

Diamond synchrotron to use x-rays to examine

Dead Sea Scrolls

By Nic Fleming and Roger Highfield ~Telegraph.co.uk
Last Updated: 5:01pm BST 12/09/2007

Secrets contained in fragile documents such as the Dead Sea Scrolls are to be revealed using one of the most powerful light sources in the Universe.

  • British Association Festival of Science: Full coverage
  • British scientists are using a giant instrument - in essence an extremely powerful torch and microscope combined - to read parchments that are too brittle to unroll or unfold.

    Part of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their discovery enhanced knowledge of Christianity and Judaism

    The Diamond synchrotron creates X-ray beams 10 billion times brighter than the Sun, allowing researchers to study chemical and material samples in more detail than ever before.

    It is contained in a flying saucer-shaped building the size of five football pitches near Didcot in Oxfordshire which opened for business in February.

    Prof Tim Wess, of the University of Cardiff, is using the synchatron to retrieve information from fragile parchments and to study how they can be prevented from deteriorating.

    Speaking at the British Association Festival of Science in York today, he said: "This is something we can take forward to try to unravel the secrets inside documents we are too scared to unroll or are beyond the point of conservation.


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