SLAC public Lecture Series
Saving the Mary Rose: Synchrotrons and the Preservation of a Tudor Warship
The Mary Rose, built in 1511, was the flagship of King Henry VIII. She sank in 1545 while en route to confront the French fleet in battle. The ship lay undersea for 440 years before being raised in 1985. The restored Mary Rose is being constantly treated to preserve the wood structure, but in 2002 a new problem arose that began rapidly destroying the ship. Studies of the relevant sulphur chemistry using X-rays from SLAC's SSRL synchrotron diagnosed the problem and suggested methods for its solution. One of these, tested by experiments at SSRL, involves specially made nanoparticles that attack the causes of the acid production. This lecture will present the amazing story of archeology, chemistry, and physics that preserves this precious artifact and gives us a glimpse back into Tudor times.
About the Speaker: Ritimukta Sarangi is a staff scientist in the Structural Molecular Biology group at SSRL, a subdivision of SLAC. She has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from St Xavier college in Kolkata, India, an MS in Chemistry from IIT Kanpur in India and a PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University. Her expertise is in hard X-ray spectroscopy. Her research focuses on understanding the geometric and electronic structure of metal sites in proteins. She is also deeply interested in applying X-ray spectroscopy to understand chemical processes involving sulphur compounds in biological and other complex materials.