How Atom Bombs Can Uncover Forged Art

Art forgeries are works of art themselves? How can inspectors tell real art from fake? A video from the a large science playlist explores the techniques practiced by expert forgers and the subtle science behind telling a masterpiece from a forgery.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Include the video in a nuclear chemistry unit
  • Learn more about Han Van Meegeren, master forger, with a short documentary
Classroom Considerations
  • No art skills? No problem! Viewing requires no prior knowledge
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • The resource provides clear explanations of the techniques forgers use and those used by the scientists that catch them
  • Diagrams explain radioactive isotopes and carbon dating concisely for younger learners
Cons
  • None
Common Core