Edward B. Ripley - Y-12 National Security Complex, USA
Edward Ripley is a research scientist for the technology development division of Y-12 National Security Complex, where he has worked for nearly three decades. He earned an M.S. in nuclear engineering and an M.S.E. in metallurgy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A watchmaker, knife maker and gem collector for 31 years, Edward holds 27 patents and has received numerous awards including the DOE and NNSA Awards of Excellence, the Y-12 Award of Excellence, the first Y-12 Technical Fellowship and an honorary Ph. D. degree in magical art and performance. An accomplished author, he is a former member of the Sandia National Laboratories Weapons Intern Program. This is his first presentation at the Santa Fe Symposium®.
The Use of Computed Tomography in the Evaluation and Cutting of Opaque Gemstone Material
When evaluating transparent rough stones, the cutter can inspect a stone’s interior to maximize the value of the rough, cutting out or hiding internal flaws to get the most value from the stone. When cutting opaque stones like turquoise or opal, you do not have the luxury of seeing what lies beneath the surface. Using X-ray CT, you can see all the features hidden within the stone and even make “test cuts” to see the how finished product will appear before you even start cutting. This approach allows you to “plan the cut and cut the plan.” The stone is seen as it will appear when it is a finished, allowing you to determine the best way to maximize the value of the rough. Examples of how this technology can be used will be explored. With this technology you will see that beauty is no longer “skin deep.”