Vatican City is home to some of the world’s most celebrated works of art, including pieces by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Time and outside elements take their toll on antique pieces and, until now, little (if anything) could be done to properly conserve, reconstruct or authenticate them.
An article by Louis Bonnefous of the Institut d’Optique Graduate School in France, Anke Lohmann of the Knowledge Transfer Network in England and Carlos Lee of the European Photonics Industry Consortium, beginning on page 36, explores these efforts. Advanced photonics technologies are now being employed in preserving cultural heritage.
Technologies including IR reflectography, optical coherence tomography, spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging are providing extremely detailed images of artworks’ substructures. Historic paintings can now be authenticated, deteriorating sculptures can be reconstructed and all types of art pieces can be conserved.
So the light and dark of it: bringing new photonics and optics technologies into cultural heritage can ultimately restore the original look and feel of some of the world’s most beloved artworks, and preserve them to be admired by future generations.
Also in this issue:
• We discuss optics and related technologies in France, namely some novel initiatives that are further heightening the nation’s place in the industry, page 24;
• Dr. Jörg Neukum of DILAS Diodenlaser offers his expertise on new developments in the realm of high-power laser technology, page 28; and
• An article by Contributing Editor Marie Freebody discusses the growing demand for novel optical technologies in the health care sector, page 32.
Be it art conservation, laser systems or health care applications, light-based technologies are leaving solid footprints around the world, and boosting industrial and consumer demand. The photonics industry is setting the pace for the future, proving that anything is possible.
Enjoy the issue.
- The successive analysis or synthesizing of the light values or other similar characteristics of the components of a picture area, following a given method.
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