Determination of traces of light elements in gold artifacts using nuclear reactions

  • Demortier G
  • Gilson A
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Nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) has been developed to achieve a sufficient sensitivity for the determination of low Z elements in narrow regions (around 1 mm2) of a matrix rich in high Z elements (gold, silver, copper). Traces of sulphur and silicon are specially useful for the understanding of the antique brazing procedures of archaeological gold artifacts. Proton spectra from (d,p) reactions on thick targets for the analysis of Si and S, and incidentally Mg, Al, P, Cl, K, have been investigated in order to determine the most useful deuteron energy for sensitive and interference free determinations. Applications to brazing alloys obtained by dissolution of cadmium ores in melted gol (as done in antiquity) and to artifacts of Byzantine times (IXth century a.d.) are presented. © 1986 Elsevier Science Publishers B. V. (North-Holland Physics Publishing Division).

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  • Guy Demortier

  • André Gilson

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