arrow3 Comments
  1. Pat Frank
    Jun 07 - 11:26 pm

    As one of the authors, I’d like to thank Sarah for highlighting our work, and add that it would not have been possible without the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), or its like.

    High resolution x-ray spectra are possible only at the high-intensity and tunable x-ray sources of synchrotron beam lines. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is the only method that can query the presence and functionality of sulfur in the wood of marine archaeological artifacts. Without the information that provides, it would be difficult to obtain an understanding of the oxidation processes and intermediates leading to sulfuric acid.

    Here is an example of the high functional group discrimination provided by sulfur x-ray spectroscopy at SSRL’s beam line 4-3. Not only can different sulfur functional groups be readily identified, but so can identical functional groups in different structural environments.

    All manner of materials — natural or synthetic, crystalline or amorphous, solid or solution — can be examined and assayed in this way.

    Thanks again, Sarah. :-)

    • Sarah Everts
      Jun 08 - 8:47 am

      Sounds like the SSRL is one-stop shopping for all one’s marine archeological identification needs–or conservation-related synchrotron needs for that matter. Thanks for the info!

  2. Pat Frank
    Jun 08 - 4:49 pm

    SSRL is worth a visit if you’re ever Stanford way, Sarah. I’ll volunteer the nickel tour, and you’d probably get to meet and interview Uwe Bergmann, who’s used the x-rays provided by SSRL to find hidden writings in the Archimedes Palimpsest and to image residual biological elements in the Archeopteryx fossil. It’s very wonderful work and Uwe gives a beautiful seminar.

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