25-30 August 2019
Henry Ford Building
Europe/Berlin timezone

A MOUSE for Heritage: In Pursuit of Art and Culture

26 Aug 2019, 11:55
Max Kade Auditorium (Henry Ford Building)

Max Kade Auditorium

Henry Ford Building

Invited talk Benchtop & low-field NMR Benchtop & Low-field NMR


Prof. Maria Baias (New York University Abu Dhabi)


Ancient mummies and bones, paintings and violins – what do they have in common? First, they are all highly relevant to cultural heritage, and second, we can use mobile NMR to learn specific details about each of them.

Mobile NMR is a non-destructive technique that uses single-sided mobile NMR sensors capable of recording NMR signals from samples that are exterior to the magnet. The two main advantages of this method – its portability and non-invasiveness – fulfill the condition for analysis of precious objects that need to be kept safely in museums or archaeological sites and preserved during experiments. This makes mobile NMR an essential tool for studying objects and sites of high interest to the field of cultural heritage.[1,2]

My talk will focus on the applications of the Profile NMR-MOUSE (MObile Universal Surface Explorer) sensor to cultural heritage research. I will present how the NMR-MOUSE can be employed for the characterization of various objects of cultural heritage relevance, ranging from ancient mummies and bones to more recent artifacts, such as older and newer violins as well as modern paintings. I will illustrate how this method can offer information related to the state of conservation of mummies [3], reveal insights into building a master violin and help identifying forgeries in the world of modern paintings.

[1] M. Baias, Mobile NMR: An Essential Tool for Protecting our Cultural Heritage – Magn. Reson. Chem. 55 (2017) 33-37.
[2] M. Baias, B. Bluemich, Nondestructive Testing of Objects from Cultural Heritage with NMR – Modern Magnetic Resonance (2017) 1-13, Springer International Publishing, Ed. Graham A. Webb.
[3] F. Ruehli, T. Boeni, J. Perlo, F. Casanova, M. Baias, E. Egarter, B. Bluemich, Noninvasive spatial tissue discrimination in ancient mummies and bones by in situ portable nuclear magnetic resonance, Journal of Cultural Heritage 8 (2007) 257-263.

Primary authors

Christian Rehorn (RWTH-Aachen University) Lachlan Pham (New York University Abu Dhabi) Bernhard Bluemich (RWTH-Aachen University) Prof. Maria Baias (New York University Abu Dhabi)

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