Abstract

The frontal image on the Shroud of Turin is shown to be consistent with a body shape covered with a naturally draping cloth in the sense that image shading can be derived from a single global mapping function of distance between these two surfaces. The visible image on the Shroud does not appear to be the work of an artist in an eye/brain/hand coordination sense nor does it appear to be the result of direct contact only, diffusion, radiation from a body shape or engraving, dabbing powder on a bas-relief, or electrostatic imaging. The visible image on the Shroud is probably not the result of a hot bas-relief impressed into cloth, but such a mechanism seems capable of accounting for the Shroud image’s distance correlation, resolution, and similar chemical structure. It does not simultaneously account for (1) the 3-D image residing on one side of the Shroud, (2) observed lateral image distortions (consistent with a draping cloth over a body shape), or (3) expected thermal perturbations associated with physically thick superimposed blood images. A complex mechanism involving more than one process may account for some of the Shroud image’s characteristics, but potential inconsistencies in shading continuity, cloth contact, lateral distortions, and pressure independence may exist.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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