Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations


Neutrons for Mona Lisa: Louvre researcher speaks at ORNL

Can neutrons reveal the secret of Mona Lisa's smile?
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 17, 2006 — OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 12, 2006 -- A researcher from one of the world's most famous museums will speak at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on how the latest advances in science are telling us more about masterpiece works of art.

Dr. Philippe Walter will discuss his work at the Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) facility of Le Louvre in Paris, including scientific imaging and analysis of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and other works of art and artifacts.

The lecture is at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 23, in the new Iran L. Thomas Auditorium at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Spallation Neutron Source.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and advance registration is required for access to ORNL. Please contact Tamra Richardson at 574-9674 to register.

Walter is internationally known for his expertise in using technology -- such as electron microscopy, synchrotron radiation, or a neutron scattering facility like SNS -- to study a wide range of artifacts, from prehistoric cave paintings to Roman art and more recent masterpieces.

The Louvre, a central Paris landmark since the 12th century, was a fortress and palace of kings before becoming a museum in 1793. Its collections include priceless works of art that attract some 6 million visitors yearly. The museum's IBA facility was established 18 years ago for the study of art and archeology. For more about the Louvre, go to: http://www.louvre.fr/llv/commun/home_flash.jsp?bmLocale=en

This lecture is part of the Imaging and Neutrons Workshop (IAN2006) attended by more than 150 scientists from around the world. IAN 2006 is designed for a broad-based international scientific community that seeks to expand the use of neutrons for a wider range of imaging applications. For information on this workshop, please visit: http://www.sns.gov/workshops/ian2006