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Paolo Di Lazzaro to Speak at Fiat Lux Conference

in the company of Nobel Prize winners and many other prominent speakers

From the Program of the Fiat Lux Conference:


Paolo Di Lazzaro
Chief of Research, ENEA Research Centre of Frascati

The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the front and back body images of what appears to be a crucified man. Although it is considered one of the archaeological objects most studied in history, nobody was able to replicate the microscopic complexity of the chemical and physical characteristics of its faint images. After countless attempts, the inability to replicate the image on the Shroud prevents formulating a reliable hypothesis on the process of the image formation.

In this talk we summarize the experiments done at the ENEA Research Centre of Frascati, which have demonstrated the ability of vacuum ultraviolet light pulses lasting few nanoseconds to generate a Shroud-like coloration on linen that matches many characteristics of the Shroud image.

Our results are fascinating, and to some extent suggestive about the hypothesis of image formation, but cannot lead to definitive conclusions. We never addressed the theological and philosophical issues, that go beyond our scientific expertise, on how it is possible generating these specific radiation pulses at the time of the formation of the Shroud image. We have dealt with only about a topic that is within our expertise, namely the understanding of the photochemistry processes able to generate a peculiar linen coloration that has many features in common with the image on the Shroud. The implications of our findings are left to scholars competent in theology, metaphysics and philosophy.

Science must recognize its limits, and at the same time we cannot remain indifferent to the charm of an object like the Shroud of Turin in which the physics of light, chemistry, medicine, history, metaphysics and philosophy meet and overlap each other, in an unprecedented attempt to solve a multifaceted enigma.

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