Berlin 2018 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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SYAM: Symposium Physics of Ancient Materials

SYAM 1: Physics of Ancient Materials

SYAM 1.1: Hauptvortrag

Freitag, 16. März 2018, 09:30–10:00, H 0105

Bringing Dino-Birds to life – Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence and Raman imaging of ancient materials — •Uwe Bergmann — SLAC Stanford, CA, USA

Some 150 million years ago, a strange creature died in a tropical lagoon in today’s Solnhofen, Bavaria. First, only a single feather of this creature was discovered. Not long afterward the complete fossil was found revealing bird-like feathers but dinosaur-like anatomical features. The fossilized animal, named Archaeopteryx, has since risen to become one of the most iconic on earth. More recently, other extremely well preserved dino-birds were discovered in China, shedding new light on the early evolution of birds. Learning more about the original animals in these and other fossils is at the heart of paleontology, and over the years a variety of analytical methods have been developed and employed for this quest.

In this talk, we present the methods of synchrotron based rapid-scan X-ray fluorescence (XRF) imaging, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray Raman scattering. These powerful probes have revealed new information about fossilized animals, including their preserved original chemistry and information about their soft tissue. We describe the synchrotron based X-ray imaging and spectroscopy methods and instrumentation, and discuss examples of some of the early and recent work. We hope that by describing these fascinating fossils, our X-ray results, and some of the challenges, we will grow interest in applying these powerful probes to other objects of our planet’s natural and cultural history.

Bergmann et al, Archaeopteryx feathers and bone chemistry fully revealed via synchrotron imaging, Proc Natl Acad Sci 107, 9060 (2010) Wogelius et al, Trace metals as biomarkers for Eumelanin Pigment in the Fossil Record, Science 333, 1622-1626 (2011)

Bergmann et al, Chemical mapping of paleontological and archeological artifacts with synchrotron X-rays, Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry 5, 361-389 (2012)

Manning et al, Synchrotron-based chemical imaging reveals plumage patterns in a 150 million year old early bird, J. Anal. At. Spectrom. 28, 1024–1030 (2013)

Edwards et al, Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy, Scientific Reports 6, 34002 (2016)

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