Other Durham events

Analysing Antiquity

Please note that this event takes place on the first floor and has no step-free access.
Past event - 2017
17 May 7:30pm - 10pm (Doors @ 7pm)
Head of Steam, 3 Reform Place, North Road,
Durham DH1 4RZ
Sold Out!
Understanding our scientific history, and our world's history through science.

PLEASE NOTE: this event takes place on the first floor and is not accessible for those with impaired mobility.

Illuminating History: Studying Medieval Manuscripts with Modern Spectroscopy

Medieval manuscripts, with their wonderful coloured illuminations, are an enduring and captivating reminder of the skills of the past. Many, now more than 1400 years old, still have vibrant and vivid colours. Team Pigment, a collection of scientists, historians and conservators, have developed a range of portable scientific equipment to study a wide range of books across Britain. We’ll demonstrate some of the techniques developed to identify these pigments without causing any damage to these beautiful documents, using UV, visible and infra-red radiation to reveal things hidden to the eye.

X-Rays and Excavation: Pots, Powders and Photons

We’ll look at how popular scientific techniques can contribute to cultural heritage science. We’ll discuss, with specific examples, how these techniques can help with all kinds of archaeological and conservation work, from archaeometric studies of medieval Byzantine pottery (dating, provenancing and studying object manufacture processes) to how X-ray diffraction helped conserve an Egyptian bronze statue over 2500 years old!

The Medieval Big Bang

How old is the Universe? How was it created? What will happen in the future? These are questions addressed by modern cosmologists, using the "laws of physics" and state-of-the art supercomputers to simulate how the Universe is created. However, these aren’t new questions; they are probably as old as human consciousness. We will look at how this picture has changed over the millennia; how work with the Ordered Universe project has led to amazing computer simulations of Robert Grosseteste’s medieval explanation of the origin of the Universe, and contrast this with our contemporary understanding.
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Other Head of Steam events

2023-05-22 The Living Earth: Safe Home and Disaster Zone Head of Steam 3 Reform Place, North Road, Durham, DH1 4RZ, United Kingdom
2023-05-24 A Night of Fire and Ice Head of Steam 3 Reform Place, North Road, Durham, DH1 4RZ, United Kingdom