Research (8/5/10)


  1. In 1978 a detailed examination was carried out by a team of American scientists called STURP. It found no reliable evidences of forgery, and called the question of how the image was formed "a mystery"[5]
  2. To date, the creation of the body image visible on the Turin Shroud has not been conclusively explained by science.[16]
  3. Imagine slicing a human hair lengthwise, from end to end, into 100 long thin slices, each slice one-tenth the width of a single red blood cell. The images on the Shroud, at their thickest, are this thin. The faint images, golden-brownish, formed by a caramel-like substance, are wholly part of a super-thin film of starch fractions and sugars.
  4. The initial steps towards the scientific study of the shroud were taken soon after the first set of black and white photographs became available early in the 20th century. In 1902 Yves Delage, a French professor of comparative anatomy published the first study on the subject.[72] Delage declared the image anatomically flawless and argued that the features of rigor mortis, wounds, and blood flows were evidence that the image was formed by direct or indirect contact with a corpse. William Meacham mentions several other medical studies between 1936 and 1981 that agree with Delage.[73][74][75][76] However, these were all indirect studies without access to the shroud itself.
  5. The first direct examination of the shroud by a scientific team was undertaken in 1969-1973 in order to advise on preservation of the shroud and determine specific testing methods. This led to the appointment of an 11-member Turin Commission to advise on the preservation of the relic and on specific testing. Five of the commission members were scientists, and preliminary studies of samples of the fabric were conducted in 1973.[73]
  6. In 1976 physicist John P. Jackson, thermodynamicist Eric Jumper and photographer William Mottern used image analysis technologies developed in aerospace science for analyzing the images of the Shroud. In 1977 these three scientists and over thirty others formed the Shroud of Turin Research Project. In 1978 this group, often called STURP, was given direct access tothe Shroud.[77]
  7. Many hypotheses have been formulated and tested to explain the image on the Shroud. To date, despite numerous and often media-related claims, it can be said that "the body image of the Turin Shroud has not yet been explained by traditional science; so a great interest in a possible mechanism of image formation still exists."[136]
  8. The Shroud of Turin images may not the direct result of a miracle, at least not in a traditional sense of the word. But they are not manmade either. These seem to be the contradictory conclusions from an article in the peer-reviewed, scientific Journal of Optics (April 14, 2004) of the Institute of Physics in London. Using mathematical image enhancement technology, Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo, researchers at the University of Padua in Italy, discovered a faint image of a second face on the back of the Shroud of Turin. This has since been confirmed with other software. The implications are explosive and exciting.This supports a hypothesis that the Shroud of Turin's image is the result of a very natural, complex chemical reaction
  9. between amines (ammonia derivatives) emerging from a body and saccharides within a carbohydrate residue that covers the fibers of the Shroud of Turin.  The color producing chemical process is called a Maillard reaction. This is fully discussed in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Melanoidins, a journal of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (EU, Volume 4, 2003).
  10. The proposal, by chemist Raymond E. Rogers and Anna Arnoldi of the University of Milan, is hypothetical. But the chemical and physical nature of the Shroud of Turin's images is pure scientific fact.
  11. Imagine slicing a human hair lengthwise, from end to end, into 100 long thin slices; each slice one-tenth the width of a single red blood cell. The images on the Shroud of Turin, at their thickest, are this thin. In selective places, an otherwise clear layer of starch fractions and saccharides, a mere 200 to 600 nanometers thick, as thin as the wall of a soap bubble, has undergone a chemical change into a caramel colored substance. Spectral and chemical analysis reveal that the chromophores of the Shroud of Turin's images are complex, conjugated carbon bonds.
  12. The front and back views of the head nearly meet at the middle of the cloth.[20]