Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Using Nuclear Techniques to Detect Art Forgeries
“A City on a Rock,” long attributed to Goya, is now thought to feature elements copied from autographed works of Goya’s by 19th century artist Eugenio Lucas Velazquez. Wikipedia Commons
Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Twas a time when art experts analyzed the surface of a painting to determine its authenticity.

Now they use nuclear techniques, such as radiocarbon dating, to determine if a painting is a forgery. One team of researchers, for instance, has dated artwork using a paint chip the size of a poppy seed.

Learn more when Dr. Philippe Collon, associate professor of experimental nuclear physics at the University of Notre Dame, shares how the same science that allows us to look at the stars allows us to look under the surface of great works of art.

Collon’s presentation, offered by The Community Library, will be livestreamed at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, via

It also will be recorded so it can be watched later.

Collon is the associate chair and director of Undergraduate Studies in Experimental Nuclear Physics. His work involves the development of detection techniques using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry.


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