So, You Think You Can Forge?

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So, You Think You Can Forge?

Join SFU's Liberal Arts & 55+ Program for a free in-person lecture on March 29.

By SFU Continuing Studies (Liberal Arts and 55+)

When and where

Date and time

Wed, Mar 29, 2023 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM PDT


SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre Room HC 2270 515 W Hastings St Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3 Canada

About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

Art forgeries are often only discernible to the keen eye of a trained expert. Sometimes, even a keen eye is not adequate.

In this interactive talk, you will learn about some of the scientific tools and techniques being used at SFU to detect art fakes based on the small differences in art pieces. Microscopic details not discernible to the unaided eye can reveal distinct features between a real work of art and a forgery.

Join SFU chemistry professors Nabyl Merbouh and Byron Gates as they discuss how electron microscopy-based and X-ray spectroscopy-based tools and techniques are being used to identify microscopic to atomic-scale differences in samples that disclose real versus fake art. With an introduction by Liberal Arts & 55+ instructor Barry Magrill (LIB212: Fakes, Forgeries and Frauds in the Art World).

Capacity is limited to 40 seats.


Byron Gates, PhD, is a professor and associate chair of the SFU Department of Chemistry. He oversees an interdisciplinary team that is creating advanced materials and analytical techniques for a variety of applications. Significant achievements include preparing designer nanoscale materials, quantitatively tuning their surface chemistry, and demonstrating an on-command release of small molecules. He also worked to enhance electrocatalytic performance and durability of nanomaterials used in fuel cells, hydrogen production, and lithium-ion batteries. Building upon his passion for teaching, he has also designed new approaches to training undergraduate students in the analytical sciences.

Nabyl Merbouh, PhD, is a teaching professor in the SFU Department of Chemistry. He joined Simon Fraser University as a chemistry instructor in 2005 and was promoted to teaching professor in 2017. His research interests are focused on improving teaching methods in organic chemistry and spectroscopy for undergraduate students, along with the implementation of the Undergraduate Research Immersion initiative (URI) in the chemistry department. He is a recipient of the SFU Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching award in 2016 and the SFU Excellence in Teaching award in 2017.

About the organizer