fbpx

Life+News The Official News Portal of Independent Television Network Ltd

X-rays brighter than the sun to virtually decipher ancient scrolls

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor October 3, 2019 15:00

X-rays brighter than the sun to virtually decipher ancient scrolls

Scientists at Britain’s national synchrotron facility have harnessed powerful light beams to virtually unwrap and decipher fragile scrolls dating back some 2,000 years in a process they hope will provide new insights into the ancient world. The two complete scrolls and four fragments – from the so-called Herculaneum library, the only one surviving from antiquity – were buried and carbonized by the deadly eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD and are too fragile to be opened.The items were examined at the Diamond Light Source facility in Oxfordshire, home to Britain’s synchrotron, a particle accelerator in which beams travel around a closed-loop path. Electrons are accelerated to near light speeds until they emit light 10 billion times brighter than the sun, then directed into laboratories in ‘beamlines’ which allow scientists to study minute specimens using x-ray beams in extreme detail without damaging them.The ink on the scrolls is difficult to see, even through a synchrotron, because it is carbon-based like the papyrus it is written on. But scientists hope the density of the paper will be different where written characters are present.
Rome metro offers trash-for-tickets to tackle plastic pollution
You don’t have enough money for a metro ticket in Rome? No worries, just collect a few plastic bottles and you’ll be able to ride for free.Italy’s capital is offering travellers a way to exchange their waste plastic bottles for tickets on the eternal city’s public transport system.In San Giovanni metro station, commuters were queuing holding bags full of empty bottles to experience the program “+Ricicli +Viaggi” that allows passengers to return plastic bottles in exchange for a 5-cent credit that could be accrued and spent to purchase digital tickets. Through the MyCicero app, users can scan their personal barcode on a special recycling machine, insert empty plastic bottles inside a compactor and digitally buy rides. A standard ticket – valid for one metro ride or 100 minutes on all buses allowing transfers – costs 1.50 euros so 30 bottles are enough to afford it. And Romans are enjoying this new way of saving cash.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor October 3, 2019 15:00