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Re: Laser fossil preparation

Jeff Hecht wrote, in part (,,,,,forgive me, I'll be quick):

>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<

Oh good, the military, fractions of nanoseconds and paleontology all in one
post. Who could ask for more?  Maybe next, after the skills---and, yes, the
human creative talent---of the fossil preparators have been rendered
obsolete, perhaps we can look forward to a laser-guided, tera-hertz
paleontologist-substitute computer chip that will describe a specimen in a
trillionth of a second while producing both a cladogram that *everyone* will
agree with and an entertaining yet light-hearted article about it for
popular consumption. No doubt all of it will all be available immediately
on-line (for a fee, of course).


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Hecht <jhecht@world.std.com>
To: Dinosaur mailing list <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 5:54 PM
Subject: Laser fossil preparation

>The November 6 issue of New Scientist included an article I wrote on using
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/