In early 2005 the International Center of Photography in New York City placed on display a number of early daguerreotypes—one of the earliest forms of photography. Within a month spots and hazing began to mar the images. As Daniel Grushkin recounts in "Nano-Scientists Attempt to Save Disintegrating Artworks," a team of conservators and physicists set out to attempt to understand the nanochemistry that was destroying the 150-year-old artworks. These three images from the exhibit demonstrate how these relics of the recent past began to fade before museumgoers' eyes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Michael Moyer is the editor in charge of physics and space coverage at Scientific American. Previously he spent eight years at Popular Science magazine, where he was the articles editor. He was awarded the 2005 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for his article "Journey to the 10th Dimension," and has appeared on CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox and the Discovery Channel. He studied physics at the University of California at Berkeley and at Columbia University.