past Exhibition

Invisible Revealed

Location marker iconUltimoTime icon2021
Using a combination of 9 different nuclear reactor, synchrotron and particle accelerator based technologies, ANSTO’s imaging and analytical capabilities show how culturally significant artefacts were manufactured, and how they might be better conserved for decades and centuries to come.

Joseph Bevitt


The Powerhouse Collection of more than half a million objects tells us much about our material culture but it also inspires many questions.

What are our objects made of? How old are they? Is anything hidden inside?

Over time, new research and technologies can help us solve these mysteries – and reveal new ones. Invisible Revealed highlights imagery work done by the museum in partnership with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). It shows some discoveries we made using ANTSO's state-of-the-art neutron beam and synchrotron X-ray facilities combined with digital visualisation techniques, including how to identify different makers of our samurai swords and how a 200-year-old pocket watch can play a waltz.

The exhibition also features digital 3D models of some Powerhouse Collection objects and a digital reconstruction of the missing portions of a fragmentary carpet completed by the EPICentre at UNSW using Artificial Intelligence.

26 November 2021 – 22 May 2022

New research and technologies can help us solve some mysteries in our collection. This exhibition showcased discoveries made through a partnership between Powerhouse and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). The exhibition also featured digital 3D models of some objects and a digital reconstruction of a fragmentary carpet.

Annual ReportExternal link icon

Pocket watch

A rose gold pocket watch with a Roman numeral face on a white background

Mikroma II camera

A silver and black film camera on a white background

Alarm clock

A cream, white and silver alarm clock with a circular face, on a white background

Uşak carpet


Learn more


Invisible Revealed is the result of an ongoing multidisciplinary partnership between ANSTO and Powerhouse Museum. The exhibition team was led by Scientist Joseph Bevitt, Curator Deborah Lawler-Dormer and Lead Engineer Tomasz Bednarz.