Revolutionary Algorithm Transforms X-ray Scanner into Aspiring CT Scanner for Art Object Analysis

Revolutionary Algorithm Transforms X-ray Scanner into Aspiring CT Scanner for Art Object Analysis

X-ray Scanner Transformed into an Aspiring CT Scanner Using Small Metal Balls and an Algorithm Breakthrough

June 11, 2024

Imagine being able to peek inside art objects without having to take them apart. That’s now possible thanks to a groundbreaking new algorithm developed by Francien Bossema, a researcher at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica and Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science.

With the addition of small metal balls and the newly developed algorithm, a simple X-ray scanner can be transformed into an aspiring CT scanner. This means that museums can now use their existing X-ray equipment to create 3D models of art objects, enabling them to study the internal structure, materials, and even hidden details that would otherwise remain invisible.

How it Works

CT scanners work by capturing X-ray images of an object from all angles. These images are then processed by a reconstruction algorithm to create a 3D model of the object.

In the traditional method, the exact position of the object and the X-ray machine must be known during the scan. However, Bossema’s algorithm removes this limitation by using small metal balls placed next to the object.

These metal balls appear as thick black dots on the X-ray images. By tracking the movement of these dots, Bossema’s algorithm can calculate the exact position of the object during each X-ray exposure. This information is then used to reconstruct the 3D model.

The Potential for Art History

The ability to create 3D models of art objects has numerous applications in art history and conservation. For example, it can help researchers:

  • Identify different materials and techniques used in the creation of the object
  • Explore the internal structure of an object to understand its construction and history
  • Detect hidden damage or restoration work that may not be visible to the naked eye
  • Create accurate replicas or restorations of damaged or lost works of art

Accessibility and Future Developments

Bossema’s algorithm is designed to be user-friendly, allowing art experts with no prior programming experience to use it. She hopes that this will make the technology widely accessible to museums around the world.

However, Bossema acknowledges that a more accessible user interface would be beneficial for even greater usability. She encourages collaboration with software developers to further enhance the algorithm and make it even more accessible.

A Bridge Between Science and Art

Bossema’s research is a testament to the powerful synergy between science and art. By combining her knowledge of computer science with her interest in art history, she has created a tool that will revolutionize the study and appreciation of art objects.

As she continues her research, Bossema plans to explore further applications of her algorithm, such as using it to create 3D models of historical buildings or archaeological artifacts. She is also interested in developing new algorithms for image analysis that can help to enhance our understanding of the world around us.

By Mehek

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