Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Framing Independence

PostedJuly 1, 2005

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The Declaration of Independence rests in probably the world's most high-tech picture frame.  The document is bathed in gentle argon gas, with a precise touch of oxygen and humidity.  Rick Judson, the display's lead engineer, says its specially designed seals should maintain that exact mixture for at least a hundred years.  But how can you know?  The encasement includes sapphire windows that allow an unimpeded beam of infrared light inside.  It bounces off mirrors under the document platform, then exits into a detector carrying detailed information about conditions within.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.