Neutrons in cultural heritage research

W. Kockelmann, L. C. Chapon, R. Engels, J. Schelten, C. Neelmeijer, H. M. Walcha, G. Artioli, S. Shalev, E. Perelli-Cippo, M. Tardocchi, G. Gorini, P. G. Radaelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutron radiation is a highly penetrating probe, routinely used for non-destructive testing of engineering components and for analysis of the structure and dynamics of novel advanced materials. The same analytical techniques can be employed for characterising objects of art, museum pieces and archaeological findings. In particular, neutron radiography, neutron diffraction and neutron activation analysis provide valuable and complementary information to address questions of provenance, authenticity, fabrication techniques and conservation. This paper surveys some basic concepts and recent applications of neutrons in cultural heritage research at the ISIS neutron spallation source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neutron Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Cultural heritage
  • Neutron diffraction
  • Prompt gamma activation analysis
  • Texture analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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