Kinect used to create 3-D death mask of Newton

Oct. 16, 2012
Researchers at Microsoft Research Laboratory (Cambridge, UK) have used a Kinect camera to produce the first ever 3-D scan of Sir Isaac Newton's death mask.

Researchers at Microsoft Research Laboratory (Cambridge, UK) have used a Kinect camera to produce the first ever 3-D scan of Sir Isaac Newton's death mask.

Newton was an English physicist and mathematician, and arguably the greatest scientist of his era. Newton’s single greatest work, Principia Mathematica was published in 1687. It showed how a universal force, gravity, applied to all objects in all parts of the universe.

The mask was created to serve as a likeness for future sculptures of the scientist. It is now held in the archives of the Royal Society, of which Newton was President at the time of his death.

The artist who made the mask is unknown, but the version that was scanned at Microsoft was owned by the 18th century French sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac, who used it to carve a marble bust of Newton and to make a statue of Newton in Trinity College Chapel in Cambridge, England.

The results of the scan can be seen on the web site of The Royal Society (London, UK) here.

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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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