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Friday, 4 January 2013

Synchrotrons and Preserving the Tudor Warship Mary Rose

 Ritimukta Sarangi, staff scientist in the Structural Molecular Biology group at SSRL, a subdivision of SLAC, delivered the Public Lecture, "Saving the Mary Rose: Synchrotrons and the Preservation of a Tudor Warship." (October 2, 2012)

Sarangi's talk, explains how synchrotron-generated X-rays were used to help preserve a 500-year-old warship after it was salvaged from the bottom of the Atlantic in 1985.

The warship was the Mary Rose, built in 1511 and the flagship of King Henry VIII. She sank in 1545 while en route to confront the French fleet in battle. The ship lay undersea for 440 years before being raised, and her salvaging was not the end of her troubles. The restored Mary Rose is being constantly treated to preserve the wood structure, but in 2002 a new problem arose that began rapidly destroying the ship.

Sarangi tells the story of how research at SSRL uncovered the cause of the problem and a way to help. As Sarangi says, "This lecture will present the amazing story of archeology, chemistry, and physics that preserves this precious artifact and gives us a glimpse back into Tudor times."

Lecturer: Ritimukta Sarangi, SLAC

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