November 16, 2021

Cwi podcast: how the FleX-ray scanner reveals art secrets

When you think of a research institute for mathematics and computer science, you don’t immediately think of art research. Yet CWI contributes to the research of art, for example from the Rijksmuseum. They do so with a special 3D scanner, which is in their FleX-Ray lab.

When people hear “CT scan,” they initially think of a medical procedure. But CT machines are also becoming the standard tool for cultural heritage and industry to look inside all kinds of objects. The FleX-ray scanner is a special X-ray scanner, which can be used to look inside such objects in real time in 3D. How exactly this works is explained by Francien Bossema (CWI PhD) and Erma Hermens (Rijksmuseum/UvA museum professor).

Science journalist Bennie Mols talks to Francien and Erma in this podcast. They talk about investigating the wooden box in which Hugo de Groot escaped from captivity in the 17th century, about fingerprints hidden in the interior of art works of and, of course, about mathematics and computer science, which make it possible to extract secrets from these kinds of objects.

You can now listen to the podcast via Spotify (in Dutch). You can also watch the video of the podcast on YouTube.

More information about the FleX-ray scanner and its applications in this video:

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