X-rays reveal artistry in an ancient vase

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Under beams of X-rays, the colors of art become the colors of chemistry. The mysterious blacks, reds and whites of ancient Greek pottery can be read in elements — iron, potassium, calcium and zinc — and art history may be rewritten.

That’s the power of a growing collaboration between the Cantor Arts Center’s Art + Science Learning Lab, art and science faculty, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

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