England's Diamond synchotron, a device that covers five football "pitches" and is capable of generating an X-Ray light source that's 10 billion times brighter than the sun, will be used to examine precious antique documents that cannot otherwise be handled.
When the beams are fired into a book or a scroll, they bounce off of iron ink, generating a 3D image that can be sliced up and read. One professor involved called this "reading books without opening them," not as sexy as Frank Herbert's "travelling without moving" perhaps, but the best way yet to figure out how to read some of the heretofore unseen portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hopefully they won't burst into flames in the process. [BBC News]