X-ray Tomography of the Antikythera Mechanism

Andrew Ramsey
2013 Proceedings of From Antikythera to the Square Kilometre Array: Lessons from the Ancients — PoS(Antikythera & SKA)   unpublished
An "in-depth" explanation of how X-ray tomography revealed the secrets of the world's most ancient astronomical calculator, this talk will describe how X-Tek Systems Ltd, at the time a small UK-based X-ray company, developed a high resolution, high voltage X-ray source, took an 8-tonne cabinet to Greece and probed the secrets of surely the most fascinating artefact of ancient Greek culture. I will explain how X-ray computed tomography (CT) works, how we were able to see beneath the corrosion,
more » ... th the corrosion, count gear teeth and read inscriptions which had lain unread for 2000 years at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. This paper will cover the following topics: • The history of the Antikythera Mechanism • Who were X-Tek and how did we get involved? • Computed Tomography -What is it? • Why is our CT different to medical CT? • Microfocus X-ray sources -how do we magnify? • High energy X-ray sources -how can we see through metal?
doi:10.22323/1.170.0022 fatcat:msku472hjrdhfib2z3hryalba4