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Joint IAEA–ANSTO Workshop on Nuclear and Isotopic Techniques for Cultural Heritage

Mon 6 Dec at 9.00am - Thu 9 Dec at 4.00pm
Free - Invited Only
Venue Online

Information Booklet
IAEA Website
Accelerators for Heritage Website
Event Program
Abstract Booklet
1 November 2021
Expression of Interest Close
15 November 2021
Accepted Abstracts Advised

In February 2021 ANSTO became an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Collaborating Centre to support IAEA activities using nuclear techniques for development and sustainable environment protection.

Building on two previous Collaborating Centres, the current Agreement is focused on a broad work plan that includes tackling provenance and the authentication of products of illicit trade; the use of isotopes to study water and climate change;  the use of nuclear techniques to understand the impact of environmental and atmospheric pollutants and the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques to investigate art, archaeology and cultural heritage materials. As part of this new collaborating centre, we have planned to organize a series of activities to introduce the latest research works and results as well as innovative technological developments. 

We are proud to announce the first meeting: the Joint IAEA–ANSTO Workshop on Nuclear and Isotopic Techniques for Cultural Heritage which will be organized together with the IAEA and hosted as an on-line meeting by ANSTO from 6 to 9 December 2021


Over the last decades, neutron, photon, and ion beams have been established as an innovative and attractive investigative approach for the study and conservation of cultural heritage. ANSTO offers a wide range of unique nuclear-beam techniques to look at the structure and dynamics of materials from the atomic to the macroscopic scale providing complementary information. These powerful and versatile tools are superb probes to be used in tandem with traditional methods to extract maximum information from an object requiring either minimal or no sampling or invasive procedures.

Collaboration between institutions, countries, and experts across a variety of disciplines are critical ingredients to reading the deep past. The big breakthroughs which change our thinking and knowledge are expected to come at the intersection of the major disciplines. Increasingly apparent to scientists, science policy makers and governmental agencies is that an understanding of mankind’s past and its impact on the environment is central to tackling the problems of global warming, biodiversity, landscape management and sustainability.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the places in which we live and work. We recognise and respect the enduring relationship they have with their lands and waters, and honour the Elders, past and present. 


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International Programme Advisory Committee (IPAC)
Prof Loic Bertrand
Prof Loïc Bertrand
Université Paris-Saclay
ENS Paris-Saclay France
Elisabeth Carter
Dr Elisabeth Carter
The University of Sydney
Sydney NSW Australia
Dr Douglas Galante
Dr Douglas Galante
The Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS)
The Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials
(CNPEM) Campinas (SP)
Dr Francesco Grazzi
Dr Francesco Grazzi
Istituto di Fisica Nello Carrara
Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche
Sesto fiorentino Italy
Irka Hajdas
Dr Irka Hajdas
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH,
Zürich Switzerland


Workshop Co-Chairs
Aliz Simon
Ms Aliz Simon
Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences
Filomena Salvemini
Dr. Floriana Salvemini
Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering


Rachael White
Dr. Rachel White
Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering
Geraldine Jacobsen
Dr. Geraldine Jacobsen
Centre for Accelerator Science



The event will comprise on-line sessions. The on-line sessions will consist in presentations by ANSTO experts in sessions devoted to specific topics, and presentations by the participants on their research. The on-line sessions will consist of technical presentations on basic theory followed by demonstrations using nuclear techniques available at ANSTO through selected case studies.

The presentations will be tailored for novice to intermediate users from the research fields of Cultural Heritage, Conservation Science and Archaeology. 


  • Neutron and synchrotron X-ray imaging for structural tri-dimensional characterization
  • Full-pattern Neutron Diffraction technique for structure and phase determination, Neutron Diffraction Residual Stress and Texture Analysis for the characterization of the preferred orientation and lattice deformations of the crystalline structure to clarify the manufacturing processes
  • Neutron activation analysis for provenance study
  • Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) for elemental analysis
  • Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) as an ultra-sensitive method for isotopic dating
  • THz/Far-IR spectroscopy for the characterization of pigments and other cultural heritage materials
  • X-ray Fluorescence microscopy maps for elemental distribution and for a range of spectroscopic applications such as determining oxidation state and speciation
  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM), focused ion beam (FIB), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
  • Overview of the most utilised portable equipment for the investigation of cultural heritage
  • Introduction to the IAEA e-learning platform and courses on Heritage Science
  • Mechanism to access research infrastructure and how to write a successful proposal
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The overall objective of this Workshop is to provide a forum for physicists, material scientists, chemists, archaeologists, conservators, curators, and heritage science stakeholders in order to exchange ideas and information on the application of nuclear and isotopic techniques for cultural heritage, conservation science and archaeology.

The main objective of the event is to contribute to the enhancement of scientific-technological knowledge, innovation infrastructure and human resources training in the area of cultural heritage using nuclear and isotopic techniques. The event also aims to provide a platform to further enhance the nexus between Arts and Science by promoting linkages between the collaborating centre activities and regional collaborators through a synergistic use of various nuclear techniques for the characterisation and preservation of our heritage.


The event is intended for young and experienced scientists, archaeologists, conservators, curators and heritage science stakeholders actively involved in the field of characterisation, provenance and authentication of cultural heritage objects and materials with nuclear and complementary analytical techniques.

Please refer to the information booklet for more details.

For more information

Mon - Fri 9:00am - 4:00pm (UTC +11)