CUORE experiment research team

ROMAN LEAD INGOTS: AN EXCEPTIONAL FINDING. FROM MAL DI VENTRE TO GRAN SASSO

Monday, 18 January 2016

The University of Sassari is participating in the archaeometric activities promoted by the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in the framework of the CUORE experiment (Underground Observatory for Rare Events) at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories.

A multidisciplinary research team led by physicist Massimo Carpinelli, Rector of the University of Sassari, is working to determine the chemical composition of the Roman lead ingots found in Sardinia off the Mal di Ventre island, in the belly of a 2-thousand-year old sunken ship. The ancient lead, being no longer radioactive, is ideal to conduct the CUORE experiment, designed by Ettore Fiorini of the University of Milano Bicocca, thus making it possible for scientists to discover a rare process in Neutrino Physics (the neutrinoless double beta decay). 

The work of the researchers of the University of Sassari (Massimo Carpinelli, Marco Rendeli, Gabriele Mulas, Valeria Sipala, and Alessandro Contini) through neutron activation and the measurement of the relationship between the stable lead isotopes, made it possible to determine the chemical composition of the ingots, their origin (Spain) and the metallurgical technique used for the extraction of their mineral.