Proton-beam Discovers Fake Wine Bottles

Oude fles wijn wordt gebombardeerd met protonstraal (foto: Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires in Bordeaux GradiganFrench scientists at the Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires in Bordeaux Gradigan (CENBG) have discovered an advanced technique for pinpointing counterfeit bottles of wine. A team led by Hervé Guégan bombarded wine bottles with a 3 MeV proton-beam and used the X-rays emitted by the bottles to analyze the chemical composition of the bottles. They compared this with the known chemical ‘fingerprint’ of 80 ancient and recent bottles, the oldest dating from 1859. The technique identifies the manufacturing year of wine bottles with a 15-year error margin. The team of scientists hopes to narrow this error margin by fingerprinting more old wine bottles. The non-destructive dating technique is not useful in identifying fake wines in old bottles that are topped-up with younger and cheaper wines. However, other forensic techniques can be used to identify such fakes. (Source: Physicsworld.)