Photos: Mona Lisa still pushing science forward

A team of scientists at the National Research Council of Canada have released results of a 3D, color laser scan they did of Leonardo da Vinci's famed painting, the Mona Lisa.

The laser scanner is mounted on a high-precision linear translation stage, which moves the scanner across the surface to acquire successive scan bands 4 cm in width.

The Canadian team built a portable version of the scanner specifically for this project and tested it on a few Renoir paintings before taking it to the Louvre in Paris. They also developed new algorithms for the project, in order to handle the Mona Lisa's gradually changing shades of color.

The study is the first high-resolution, archival quality 3D digital model of the masterpiece, and it has given researchers critical clues into the background of the painting.

National Research Council Canada

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...