Abstract

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. We present preliminary results of excimer laser irradiation (wavelength of 308nm) of a raw linen fabric and of a linen cloth. The permanent coloration of both linens is a threshold effect of the laser beam intensity, and it can be achieved only in a narrow range of irradiation parameters, which are strongly dependent on the pulse width and time sequence of laser shots. We also obtained the first direct evidence of latent images impressed on linen that appear in a relatively long period (one year) after laser irradiation that at first did not generate a clear image. The results are compared with the characteristics of the Turin Shroud, reflecting the possibility that a burst of directional ultraviolet radiation may have played a role in the formation of the Shroud image.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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