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Who Proposed Ultraviolet?

July 9, 2015 21 comments

imageA reader writes:

I am confused. Facebook Pages by you, Barry (sic) Schwortz and Russ Breault featured an article that claimed that Giulio Fanti figured out that UV radiation is the only thing that comes close to making the image on the Shroud. I thought it was Paolo Di Lazzaro.

Yes and no.

Barrie, Russ and I were reporting the fact that the article, The Shroud of Turin and Technoscience, appeared in The National Catholic Register. I think it was mainly a service to our readers. Here is what the article you refer to says.

Then, in 2012, an Italian academic who had been studying the mystery of the shroud for years released what seems to be the best theory to explain the shroud’s image. Giulio Fanti, an Italian professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, reports that the only technique to come close to reproducing the image on the shroud is ultraviolet radiation.

Paolo certainly did suggest UV at least a year earlier. But the explanation needs some nuancing and clarifying. Alan Boyle did a nice write up for NBC’s Cosmic Log in December of 2011. Here is a piece of it:

The Italian studies, conducted at the ENEA Research Center in Frascati, addresses a specific question in Shroud science: Could a burst of radiation have created the coloration seen on the linen? The answer is yes, although the results reported in the latest studies aren’t a perfect match. So does that mean the Shroud image could only have been created by the flash of a miraculous resurrection? The answer is no, despite what you might read on the Web.

Five years of tests

“Sadly, we have seen many claims spread in the Web made by journalist/bloggers that discuss the content of a paper they never read,” lead researcher Paolo Di Lazzaro told me today in an email. “It is obvious that a serious scientific work cannot prove any supernatural action. We have shown that the most advanced technology available today is unable to replicate all the characteristics of the Shroud image. As a consequence, we may argue it appears unlikely a forger may have done this image with technologies available in the Middle Ages or earlier. The probability the Shroud is a medieval fake is really low. In this sense, the Shroud image is still a scientific challenge.”

Di Lazzaro and his colleagues based their conclusions on five years of tests, using an ultraviolet laser apparatus and strips of modern-day linen. They blasted the cloth with UV at different power levels, and reported that they “achieved a very superficial Shroud-like coloration of linen yarns in a narrow range of irradiation parameters.” The best effect depended on laser pulses lasting less than 50 nanoseconds.

“These processes may have played a role in the generation of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” the researchers report.

They don’t go so far as to claim a miracle. But the fact that UV laser blasters didn’t exist in the 13th century, let alone in Jesus’ day, strongly implies that they suspect something out of the ordinary was going on.

[…]

Over the years, Di Lazzaro and his colleagues have published a long list of studies, including peer-reviewed papers (see below). The latest studies were presented at a May conference in Frascati and published in November as an ENEA technical report (with a disclaimer saying that the contents didn’t necessarily express ENEA’s opinion). But they didn’t really get traction until this week, just in time for Christmas, thanks to a series of sensationalized British news reports.

Actually, we can go back further to a paper, Deep Ultraviolet Radiation Simulates the Turin Shroud Image. Paolo Di Lazzaro, Daniele Murra and Antonino Santoni of ENEA are listed as authors. So is Giulio Fanti from the University of Padua.  And Enrico Nichelatt. And Giuseppe Baldacchini.

imageJohn Jackson (pictured) should also be getting some credit here. As early as 1991, he was suggesting that ultraviolet radiation was a possible factor in the image’s creation. Here from a complete copy of John’s paper, An Unconventional Hypothesis to Explain All Image Characteristics Found on the Shroud Image  (published in its entirety by Stephen Jones on his blog):

Chemical Nature of the Image. Electromagnetic radiation that is absorbed strongly in air consists of photons in the ultraviolet or soft x-ray region. It happens that these photons are also sufficiently energetic to photochemically modify cellulose. Such photons are strongly absorbed in cellulose over fibril-like distances. Experiments performed by the author have shown that subsequent aging in an oven of photosensitized (bleached) cloth by shortwave ultraviolet radiation produces a yellow-browned pattern like the Shroud body image composed of chemically altered cellulose. Thus, I posit that radiation from the body initially photosensitized the body image onto the Shroud. This pattern would have appeared, if the radiation was ultraviolet, as a white (bleached) image on a less white cloth. With time, natural aging would have reversed the relative shading of the image to its presently observed state where it appears darker than the surrounding cloth (which also aged or darkened with time, but not as fast). This mechanism is consistent with (1) the observed lack of pyrolytic products in microchemical studies of Shroud fibrils expected from high-temperature cellulose degradation (in this case image coloring occurs by natural aging at ambient temperatures over a long period of time) and (2) the absence of substances in the image areas that chemically colored the cloth (Note that image coloration is produced onto the cloth only by radiation and without any extraneous chemicals).

Bottom Line:  The article in the National Catholic Register misrepresented the facts.

Note:  I don’t maintain a Shroud Facebook page It is an automatic echo of my blog postings. Unfortunately it is the only way some people see my blog and as a result they miss the discussion that follows.

Update on New Book by Giulio Fanti and Pierandrea Malfi

June 28, 2015 16 comments

Now Shipping

This is an update to a May 8th posting. 

imageWhat is new for the English editions:


Being published in English

Turin Shroud: First Century after Christ by Giulio Fanti  and Pierandrea Malfi is now shipping for delivery on June 30th.  The price for this 500 page, hardcover book is $75.23. A Kindle edition has been announced. It will be available for download on July 7th. The price for the Kindle edition is $71.47.

The description of the book at Amazon reads:

The Turin Shroud is the most important and studied relic in the world. Many papers on it have recently appeared in important scientific journals. Scientific studies on the relic until today fail to provide conclusive answers about the identity of the enveloped man and the dynamics regarding the image formation impressed therein. This book not only addresses these issues in a scientific and objective manner but also leads the reader through new search paths. It summarizes the results in a simple manner for the reader to comprehend easily. Many books on the theme have been already published, but none of them contains such a quantity of scientific news and reports. The most important of them is the following: the result of the 1988 radiocarbon dating is statistically wrong and other three new dating methods demonstrate that the Shroud has an age compatible with the epoch in which Jesus Christ lived in Palestine. A numismatic analysis performed on Byzantine gold coins confirms this result. This book is, therefore, very important with respect to the Turin Shroud. It is unique in its genre and a very useful tool for those who want to study the subject deeply.

About the Authors:

imageGiulio Fanti is associate professor of mechanical and thermal measurements at the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua, Italy. After gaining experience in spatial structures, and also in tethered satellites and image analysis, he has directed since 1997 his interest to the Shroud to fill some gaps, especially with reference to the body image impressed in it, which is still scientifically inexplicable. He was responsible for a university research project concerning the most important relic of Christianity and has headed for more than 10 years the Shroud Science Group, a group of about 140 scientists dedicated to study of the relic. He has published more than 170 scientific works in international journals. He has authored 8 books and more than 50 scientific works on the Shroud.

imagePierandrea Malfi holds a master’s degree with honors in mechanical engineering from the University of Padua. His thesis was based on the mechanical dating of textile fibers, whose results have also been published in scientific journals. He has set up and computerized the Antonio Maria Traversi Physics Museum of Marco Foscarini High School in Venice, Italy, of which he has been scientific curator for more than 10 years.


Editorial Reviews:

"This is one of the books John [Jackson] may have had in mind for publication after hundreds of man-years of collective research even two thousand years after the death of Jesus. It is unique in the depth of material covered that supports dating the Shroud progressively back to the first century. It is an outstanding contribution to Shroud studies."
― Robert W. Siefker, The Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, USA

"Prof. Fanti’s new book is a major new work in the field of literature on the Shroud. It is of great value as it provides the details and results of very interesting new research for which Fanti has been responsible. It is an essential addition to any library or collection of written work on the Shroud of Turin."
― Mark Oxley, author of The Challenge of the Shroud

"After decades of dedicated research, Dr. Fanti and his colleagues have developed a new scientific method to date ancient linen, whose result is consistent with the extensive scientific and medical evidence derived from the unique Shroud of Turin. Fanti’s result is also completely different from the Shroud’s medieval C-14 dating, constituting the first direct scientific challenge to the dating of this famous cloth."
― Mark Antonacci, author of The Resurrection of the Shroud, Test The Shroud Foundation

"The chapter on numismatic investigation is very interesting because it gives a very clear indication that the Shroud existed before the period between 1260 and 1390 AD, established by the radiocarbon dating tests. The book is highly recommended."
― Petrus Soons, Shroud Researcher from Panama

"Fanti, for first time, experimentally proves that the threads of the Shroud can be 2000 years old. This book is a good opportunity to be updated on the knowledge of the Holy Shroud."
― Cèsar Barta, Centro Español de Sindonologia, Spain

This abbreviated Table of Contents is not included on the Amazon site. It was furnished by an anonymous reader of this blog. A more comprehensive Table of Contents is now available at Google Books.


Part 1: Description and Traces of the Sheet that Challenges Science

  • The Shroud: an identikit

  • Historical evidence

  • Numismatic investigation

    Part 2: The Fascinating Dating Quest
  • Radiocarbon "distraction"

  • Journey of a flax thread

  • Inquiries into alternative chemical dating

  • The Mechanical Multi-Parametric Dating Method

    Part 3: Something More about the Shroud
  • Shroud samples spread for scientific research

  • Recent and future developments

  • Additional questions and answers

Conclusion

Appendix: Notes for more interested readers


Book Details from the Amazon site:

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Stanford (June 30, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814669121
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814669122
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
Categories: Books Tags: ,

Major New Book by Giulio Fanti and Pierandrea Malfi

May 8, 2015 4 comments

Being published in English

imageScheduled to be released on June 30, Turin Shroud: First Century after Christ by Giulio Fanti  and Pierandrea Malfi may now be pre-ordered at Amazon.com.  The price for this 500 page, hardcover book is $79.95. No other formats such as Kindle have been announced.

The description of the book at Amazon reads:

The Turin Shroud is the most important and studied relic in the world. Many papers on it have recently appeared in important scientific journals. Scientific studies on the relic until today fail to provide conclusive answers about the identity of the enveloped man and the dynamics regarding the image formation impressed therein. This book not only addresses these issues in a scientific and objective manner but also leads the reader through new search paths. It summarizes the results in a simple manner for the reader to comprehend easily. Many books on the theme have been already published, but none of them contains such a quantity of scientific news and reports. The most important of them is the following: the result of the 1988 radiocarbon dating is statistically wrong and other three new dating methods demonstrate that the Shroud has an age compatible with the epoch in which Jesus Christ lived in Palestine. A numismatic analysis performed on Byzantine gold coins confirms this result. This book is, therefore, very important with respect to the Turin Shroud. It is unique in its genre and a very useful tool for those who want to study the subject deeply.


The following Table of Contents is not included on the Amazon site. It was furnished by an anonymous reader of this blog.

 

Part 1: Description and Traces of the Sheet that Challenges Science

  • The Shroud: an identikit
  • Historical evidence
  • Numismatic investigation
    Part 2: The Fascinating Dating Quest

  • Radiocarbon "distraction"
  • Journey of a flax thread
  • Inquiries into alternative chemical dating
  • The Mechanical Multi-Parametric Dating Method
    Part 3: Something More about the Shroud

  • Shroud samples spread for scientific research
  • Recent and future developments
  • Additional questions and answers

Conclusion

Appendix: Notes for more interested readers


Book Details from the Amazon site:

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Stanford (June 30, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814669121
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814669122
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
Categories: Books Tags: ,

An Early Morning Google Find

January 8, 2015 70 comments

The American Heroes Channel (AHC) is repeating the Shroud of Turin episode of its Secrets of the Bible series, this coming Sunday at 8:00 and 11:00 pm Eastern and Pacific time.

In the meantime:  It is really cold down here in South Carolina where it isn’t supposed to be cold. Water pipes are not well insulated and a lot of plumbers are going to make a lot of money tomorrow fixing broken pipes. I have set the kitchen faucet to drip all night and I just got out of bed to check it.  As I was doing so my iPhone beeped to let me know that a Google bot had spotted something. If you enter Shroud of Turin Fanti site:YouTube.com into Google you might get something that looks like this. (Yes, you can click on it).

image

Categories: Video Tags:

Revisiting Shroud of Turin and physics of resurrection

December 6, 2014 6 comments

clip_image001After uploading and posting Louis C. de Figueiredo’s Science and religion meet in Shroud research, a reader sent me an article by Julian Sheffield that appeared in Episcopal Café back in April of 2013*: Shroud of Turin and physics of resurrection.

It begins this way:

Mr. Fanti’s hypothesis cited in “Turin Shroud Going on TV, With Video From Pope” (New York Times, March 30), that the image on the Shroud of Turin resulted from “a very intense burst of energy” recasts the Shroud as a testament to Christ’s Resurrection, and not, as currently revered, a relic of Christ’s passion and death. This is a crucial reconception, one that makes sense of the scriptural record, and suggests that the morbid, and ultimately destructive, fascination of Christianity with the suffering of Christ is misplaced.

The scriptural record of the Resurrection of Christ has been interpreted as hoax, mass hypnosis, metaphor, and fact. While we live, none of us will know for sure which interpretation is closest to truth, but assuming arguendo that it contains fact, assuming arguendo that there is a God who became human in an extreme act of solidarity with humanity, the question of how it can be true demands to be explored.

*When Sheffield’s article first appeared in Episcopal Café, I posted Why Giulio Fanti Matters, That article, Shroud of Turin and physics of resurrection, warrants revisiting.

The Episcopal Café is an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.

An interview with Giulio Fanti and more

December 5, 2014 19 comments

“Well, corona discharge is a phenomenon which typically produces two superficial images
on both sides of a cloth exposed to such electric energy because the image formation is linked to the electric field variation in this area. I do not know of any other phenomenon capable of imprinting a doubly superficial image leaving the inner volume of the fabric as a non-image area.”
                                                            –Giulio Fanti

imageLouis C. de Figueiredo, in a comment on this blog, offered to send along some material about the subject of the doubly superficial image (second face):

I still have the old interview-article covering part of this topic in pdf and will send it to Dan later, leaving it to him to decide whether it should be uploaded. After having been advised from serious sources in the realm of Shroud studies that there is no second image, the decision was taken to store it for a while.

The shroud.com 1 December, 2014 update has put the latest interview-article on the “black list”, together with others that have had no peer review. I make it a point not to be anyone’s mouthpiece and do think that there should be explanations from whoever proffers any paper, whether scientific or historical.

Pictured:  Giulio Fanti, the subject of the interview.

At my request  Louis sent it along. Do read Science and religion meet in Shroud research by Louis C. de Figueiredo. Here is how it begins:

Professor Giulio Fanti teaches at the University of Padua and has been a member of technical teams of various International Space Missions. He is the author of the comprehensive and profusely illustrated book La Síndone, una sfida alla scienza moderna as well as more than a hundred papers published in Italy and in international journals. In 2004 he and a colleague, Roberto Maggiolo, discovered the faint image of a second face on the reverse side of the Turin Shroud using highly sophisticated image processing techniques. The discovery received wide attention after media reports and was published as “The double superficiality of the frontal image on the Turin Shroud” in the peer-reviewed scientific Journal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics, of the Institute of Physics in London. It did not, however, appear to have received due attention in Turin and, for that reason, may not even have reached the right desk in Rome.

One prominent Shroud scholar who has contested the finding is Professor Bruno Barberis, Director of the International Centre of Sindonology, however Fanti is only willing to entertain such opposition if it comes in the form of scientific proof against his published results. This need to transform claims into scientific findings was also seen by this author back in 2003, when told by Professor Avinoam Danin of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, another giant of Shroud studies, that he would only answer the doubts raised over the presence of Gundelia tournefortii pollen grains on the relic by Professor T. Litt if they came in published form.

It is thus obvious that there is a lot more to be done in the realm of Shroud studies, a new analysis of the Shroud being the topmost priority, conducted of course by all the well-known Shroud scientists, whatever their points of view. After all, it is not a question of faith versus the Turin Shroud. Meanwhile, efforts are being made to unravel the mystery and in the following interview Fanti makes an in-depth and up-to-date analysis of the current state of knowledge.

The bolding emphasis in the above quote is mine. Do read on.

Paper Chase: The Second Face Defended

December 4, 2014 9 comments

Realizing how easily I had accepted the second image of a face discovery
and eventually realizing the need for questioning such discoveries
was one of the reasons  I decided to actively blog.

imageThe paper in question from the St. Louis Conference is About the Second Image of Face Detected on the Turin Shroud  by Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo (Read by Joseph G. Marino).

    Maybe if Giulio had been there or maybe if there had been a PowerPoint it might have been more interesting. It’s not that there is anything wrong with the paper; there isn’t. It’s just that . . . let’s let an ellipses-for-adjectives abstract of the abstract explain why:

A second faint image of the face of the Turin Shroud has been discovered in 2004 . . .  but a recent paper has questioned . . . its presence. . .  . it explained those patterns with pareidolia and Gestalt effects of the human perception . . .  in a not proper way. This paper both discusses these results showing why the image processing used in that paper seems not proper to sustain its thesis and presents additional image processing for pattern recognition.

imageIn other words the 2004 discovery of a second face on the backside of the cloth had been shot down in a peer reviewed journal paper, Pattern recognition after image processing of low-contrast images, the case of the Shroud of Turin by Paolo Di Lazzaro, Daniele Murra and Barrie Schwortz. The paper is sadly behind a pay wall at Science Direct but we have the abstract and some highlights:

Abstract:

We discuss the potentially misleading effect of software techniques for elaborating low-contrast images. In particular, we present the example of the stains embedded into one of the most studied archeological objects in history, the Shroud of Turin. We show for the first time that image processing of both old and recent photographs of the Shroud may lead some researchers to perceive inscriptions and patterns that do not actually exist, confirming that there is a narrow boundary between image enhancement and manipulation.

Highlights

► The limited static contrast of our eyes may render problematic the perception of low-contrast images.

► Brain’s ability to retrieve incomplete information interpret false image pixels after image processing.

► Image processing of Shroud photographs leads to perceive patterns that do not actually exist.

► There is a narrow line between enhancement and manipulation of low-contrast images.

Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo are fighting back or at least asking us to reserve judgment for awhile:

Before to reach a conclusion in agreement to Ref. [10] it will necessary a sure and objective demonstration that the second fainter face detected in Ref. [1] is really a trick of the human perception. Meanwhile, in agreement with various TS experts, see Refs. [23 – 26], we consider credible the presence of a second image of face on the back side of the TS. The analysis of the UV photo of face made by Turin Archdiocese in 2002 and not yet made available to the scientific community will help to confirm this fact.

Those references being:

-1. G. Fanti, R. Maggiolo: The double superficiality of the frontal image of the Turin Shroud, (J. of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics, volume 6, issue 6, 2004, pages 491- 503, April 2004).

-10. P. Di Lazzaro, D. Murra, B. Schwortz , Pattern recognition after image processing of lowcontrast images, the case of the Shroud of Turin, (Pattern Recognition J., available online 31 December 2012).

-23. J. P. Jackson, Does the Shroud of Turin show us the Resurrection?, (Biblia y Fé, 1998).

-24. G. Fanti, et al. (24 authors): Evidences for Testing Hypotheses about the Body Image Formation of The Turin Shroud, (III Int. Conf. on the Shroud of Turin: Dallas, Texas, 2005), http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/doclist.pdf accessed January 31, 2013.

-25. G. Fanti, J.A. Botella, F. Crosilla, F. Lattarulo, N. Svensson, R. Schneider, A.D. Whanger, List of Evidences of the Turin Shroud, (Int. Workshop on the Scientific Approach to the Acheiropoietos Images, ENEA Frascati, Italy, (2010).

-26. O. Scheuermann, Turiner Tuschbold aufgestrahlt?, (VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Saarbrucken Deutchland, 2007).

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