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Proceedings Paper

Antimatter, clockwork orange, laser divestment
Author(s): John F. Asmus
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Paper Abstract

In 1972 Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi sponsored a program to holographically record the images of Venetian sculptural treasures for archival purposes. At Laboratorio San Gregorio, where the initial holography took place, G. Musumeci and K. Hempel suggested an experiment to determine whether the concentrated beam from the ruby holographic laser could ablate black-patina crusts from decaying marble. Initial success of a laser-divestment test on a Palazzo Ducale capital launched a search for funding to enable a full-scale laser-conservation demonstration. Later, at a Caltech reunion one of the author's physics professors (Carl Anderson, the discoverer of mu mesons and the positron), noting the prominence of the Venice Film Festival suggested our approaching the motion picture industry. Many years earlier Anderson's Caltech classmate, Frank Capra, had supported the research that led to the discovery of cosmic-ray-generated antimatter on Pikes Peak. (After Caltech, Capra had become a director at Columbia Studios.) Anderson's chance comment led to an introduction to producer Jack Warner at a festival screening of his "A Clockwork Orange" in Asolo. He and his friends contributed US$5000 toward the laser conservation of a marble relief of "The Last Supper" in the Porta della Carta of Venice. This work was conducted in 1980 under the direction of Arch. G. Calcagno. In 1981 it was found that the granite veneer or the newly completed Warner Center Tower had been stained during transit from the quarry. The Venice laser successfully restored the veneer, thereby returning the Warner Brothers' favor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 2005
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5857, Optical Methods for Arts and Archaeology, 585701 (12 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.611742
Show Author Affiliations
John F. Asmus, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5857:
Optical Methods for Arts and Archaeology
Renzo Salimbeni; Luca Pezzati, Editor(s)

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