Synchrotron radiation has become an increasingly important tool for research in the fields of art, archaeometry, and the conservation of objects of cultural heritage significance. Scientists using conventional laboratory techniques are finding that the fundamental characteristics of synchrotron radiation - high brightness, low divergence, and highly linear polarization - can be used to give information not readily available in the laboratory context. In the author's experience, experiments do not translate directly from the laboratory to the synchrotron radiation laboratory: there are subtle differences in the use of what seem to be similar experimental apparatus. To achieve the best results, the research scientist must be able to discuss his or her research aims meaningfully with beamline scientists. And to be able to do this, the research scientist must have an understanding of the properties of synchrotron radiation, and also the various techniques that are available at synchrotrons but are unavailable in the laboratory. The chapter includes a discussion of synchrotron radiation and its properties, monochromators, detectors, and techniques such as infrared (IR) microscopy; soft X-ray spectroscopy; X-ray diffraction; micro-X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence analysis; X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), including extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES), and X-ray tomography. The underlying principles of these techniques are discussed here. Later in this book, authors will address these techniques in more detail.