X-rays decode ancient manuscript over the web

Researchers at Stanford University yesterday used the Internet to broadcast across the world the decoding of a mathematics text written by the philospher Archimedes. In a twist of irony, without the calculus defined by Archimedes the Internet itself would not be possible.

The focus of all the attention was a manuscript -- called "The Method of Mechanical Theorems," and it included as many diagrams as it did words. New letters, words and partial equations were discovered in the text Friday by researchers at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in Menlo Park by zapping the fragile 10th century parchment (in itself a copy of earlier Greek documents probably located in Alexandria that do not survive) with a high-powered X-ray beam... read more

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