Professor Giuseppe Maino
ENEA Research Director
Professor of Computer Science,
Faculty of Preservation of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna

Models of mathematical physics and complex analysis in the study of porous materials including experimental techniques such as laser ablation inductively  coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma  atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES).

Atomic and nuclear techniques are mainly used in archaeology and history of art for dating and determining the composition and modifications of materials used in the production of artifacts of particular interest. A close relationship exists between non-destructive multispectral techniques, digital imagery and digital picture processing; in particular, the digital image processing is shown to naturally complete traditional analysis techniques for non-destructive diagnostics of paintings such as radiography and reflectography in identifying the archaeological or artistic objects and the materials from which they are made, their state of repair, technical construction and decoration as well as datation. In particular, physical methods are often used assess fakes or late copies from a lost original. Therefore, fundamental and applied physics, and namely condensed- matter and nuclear physics together, can make noteworthy contributions to conservation education and research, in order to:
• Assess stronger foundations for the scientific approach to conservation;
• define a framework for a possible scientific theory for conserve on;
• understand and measure many natural phenomena and conservation induced effects;
• apply the existing physical techniques in the humanities field and develop new physical methods and instruments specifically for conservation;
• improve conservation methods and strategies.