Jefferson Lab announces Oct. 7 Fall Science Series event

The Vinland Map

The "Vinland Map", possibly depicting Viking exploration of North America in the 15th century, is housed in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

Jefferson Lab's Fall Science Series begins Tuesday, October 7 with Michael Henchman, a chemistry professor from Brandeis University, Massachusetts.

"Multi-Million Dollar Forgeries Exposed" asks: What can a scientific detective do today to determine carefully crafted forgeries from real artifacts or art masterpieces? This is the contest — pitting scientist against scientist, fake buster against forger. Weapons range from fancy spectrometers to rulers. Is an item genuine or are we simply too ignorant to recognize the item in question as a fake? That is always the question.

Michael Henchman, Brandeis University
Michael Henchman will expose multi-million dollar forgeries at Jefferson Lab's Oct. 7 Fall Science Series event.

Henchman discusses the Vinland Map: Is it the first map of America? Was it drawn 50 years before Columbus to show how the Vikings in 1000 AD first found America? Purchased in 1960 for $1 million, the map is now valued at $25M. Does that make it genuine or could it still be a worthless fake? After 50 years, why do we still have no answer?

Henchman will also discuss a French impressionist painting, ascribed to a major artist, exhibited internationally and valued at $1 million. But, when put up for sale, nobody would buy it. What's going on here? An elementary school student, armed with only a ruler, can provide the answer.

Science Series presentations begin at 7 p.m. in Jefferson Lab's CEBAF Center auditorium, located at 12000 Jefferson Ave., Newport News. The presentations last about one hour with a question and answer period at the end. The events are free and open to anyone interested in learning more about science.

For security purposes during Science Series events, enter at Jefferson Lab's main entrance, Onnes Dr. (directions). Everyone over 16 is asked to carry a photo ID and security guards may perform ID and vehicle checks. For more information, visit or contact Debbie Magaldi, 269-5102.

Jefferson Lab Science Series schedule


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE Applied Technologies, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit