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Laser fossil preparation

The November 6 issue of New Scientist included an article I wrote on using
ultrafast laser pulses (lasting 0.1 trillionth of a second) to remove the
matrix from fossils. It's an idea being developed at the Lawrence Livermore
Laboratory, as a spinoff of some of their military work and general
research on lasers delivering extremely high powers for extremely short

It removes matrix about a micrometer at a time, and is still in the early
stages of development. You also probably can't afford the laser. But it's
still an interesting idea, and you might recognize a name or two. I believe
it's on the web at:


Jeff Hecht     Boston Correspondent    New Scientist magazine
525 Auburn St.,          Auburndale, MA 02466             USA
tel 617-965-3834 fax 617-332-4760 e-mail jhecht@world.std.com
URL: http://www.sff.net/people/Jeff.Hecht/
see New Scientist on the Web: http://www.newscientist.com/