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Paper Chase: Visibility of the Shroud Image: An Optical Physicist’s Perspective


Next Week: J. Dee German will Speak in Angola, Indiana

KPC News is reporting:

ANGOLA — J. Dee German, who performed comprehensive testing of the Shroud of Turin, will speak in Angola Thursday, Aug. 15.

German, a member of the U.S scientific team that traveled to Turin, Italy, in 1978, will speak in the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Parish Hall, 700 W. Maumee St., at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. . . .

At the Ohio Conference in 2008, Dee presented a paper, Visibility of the Shroud Image: An Optical Physicist’s Perspective that addressed the phenomenon of almost not being able to see the image on the shroud from close up, or as he puts it better in the abstract:

During the 1978 STURP tests on the Shroud of Turin, experimenters observed an interesting phenomenon: the contrast between the image and the non-image areas of the cloth appears to increase as the distance between the Shroud and the observer (or camera) increases. At close distances, much of the image is barely perceptible. However, at longer distances, the image in general appears darker than the surrounding native cloth and the relative shade difference between the more intense image areas; such as the nose, cheeks, pectorals and knees; and the lighter portions of the image increases. To attempt to explain this effect, a hypothesis was proposed for the cause of this counter-intuitive phenomenon (longer distance produces increasing perception of detail) based on varying diffusivity of light reflections from the cloth. In this paper, support for the hypothesis is developed analytically, demonstrated with experimental results, and compared with a computer graphics reflection model. Conclusions include a discussion of the implications of these results to other areas of Shroud research.

The full paper

The picture is from a report on the 2008 Ohio Conference  at

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