ESR13 – Alessandra Marrocchesi

Alessandra Marrocchesi

Country of Origin: Italy
Host Institution: UvA


Alessandra graduated in 2019 with a Master’s degree in Physics from the University of Pisa in Italy with a thesis entitled “Study and characterization of the Gas Electron Multipliers for the IXPE focal plane”. Her thesis was carried out at the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare in Pisa and is focused on a state-of-the-art detector to measure the polarization of X-rays of astrophysical origin in the framework of a space experiment (the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer — IXPE) funded by NASA. The research carried out for her Master’s thesis allowed her to gain hands-on experience on detectors including laboratory work, software development and data analysis. In 2015 Alessandra was a summer student at Caltech (USA) working on a project linked to the detection of gravitational waves. This experience has also been significant in the development of her laboratory and computer Skills.

Aspirations within projects:

Alessandra is fascinated by the techniques used in the heritage science sector and by its interdisciplinarity, therefore she sees the CHANGE project as a unique opportunity to apply her knowledge in Physics to heritage science. She is involved in the ESR13 project, focused on the development of cutting-edge imaging techniques and associated software for surface monitoring of reflective metallic objects. This project will allow her to refine her education in science and to participate in an advanced field of research at the interface of science and art, with the possibility to collaborate with museum conservators and scientists.

ESR13: Monitoring of the surface appearance of daguerreotypes during their first tarnishing, electrolytic cleaning and possible re-tarnishing after treatment


Application of imaging techniques to assess the surface modification of daguerreotypes during their alteration and further restoration using controlled electrolytic processes:

  • Development of a monitoring protocol for tarnishing process using imaging techniques.
  • Definition of the conditions for a controlled electrolytic removal of the tarnishing.
  • Use of the monitoring protocol to assess cleaning process and further reactivity of a metal surface.
  • Application on real daguerreotypes and optimization according to the nature of tarnishing and the conservation condition of the artifacts.

Main Supervisor: