Berkeley Lab physicists develop way to digitally restore and preserve
Library of Congress-sponsored research will help Berkeley Lab physicists digitize audio data encoded in the hill-and-valley surface of Edison wax cylinders. This three-dimensional scan of a portion of a cylinder was acquired with a non-contact confocal optical probe, and provided by STIL SA of Aix-en-Provence, France.
Vitaliy Fadeyev (left) and Carl Haber with some of the wax cylinders,
and acetate and shellac discs, which will be studied with methods under
development at Berkeley Lab
The 1995 discovery of the top quark and singer Marian Anderson’s 1947 rendition of Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen may seem unrelated. But through an interagency agreement with the Library of Congress, the same technology used to study subatomic particles is helping to restore and preserve the sounds of yesteryear.
“We developed a way to image the grooves in a recording that is similar to measuring tracks in a particle detector,” says Carl Haber, a senior scientist in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Physics Division who developed the technology along with fellow Physics Division scientist Vitaliy Fadeyev.
Dan Krotz | Berkeley Lab
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