Radiocarbon dating of the shroud of turin nature 1989

Phillips and Hedges suggested, in the scientific magazine Nature (1989), that neutron radiation could be liable of a wrong radiocarbon dating, while proton radiation could be responsible of the Shroud body image formation.

On the other hand, no plausible physical reason has been proposed so far to explain the radiation source origin, and its effects on the linen fibres.

However, some recent studies, carried out by the first author and his Team at the Laboratory of Fracture Mechanics of the Politecnico di Torino, found that it is possible to generate neutron emissions from very brittle rock specimens in compression through piezonuclear fission reactions.

Analogously, neutron flux increments, in correspondence to seismic activity, should be a result of the same reactions.

A group of Russian scientists measured a neutron flux exceeding the background level by three orders of magnitude in correspondence to rather appreciable earthquakes (4th degree in Richter Scale).

The authors consider the possibility that neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on Shroud linen fibres, trough thermal neutron capture by Nitrogen nuclei, and provided a wrong radiocarbon dating due to an increment in C(14,6)content.

Let us consider that, although the calculated integral flux of 10^13 neutrons per square centimetre is 10 times greater than the cancer therapy dose, nevertheless it is100 times smaller than the lethal dose.

"We believe it is possible that neutron emissions by earthquakes could have induced the image formation on the Shroud's linen fibres, through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and could also have caused a wrong radiocarbon dating," said Professor Alberto Carpinteri, from the Politecnico di Torino.

The Shroud has attracted widespread interest ever since Secondo Pia took the first photograph of it in 1898 which showed details which could not be seen by the naked eye.

Last year scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy dated it to between 300BC and AD400 – still hundreds of years after Christ, who is believed to have died between 30-36AD.

Other scientists have previously suggested that neutron radiation may have been responsible for the ghostly image of a crucified man with his arms crossed.

However, no plausible explanation has been offered for the source of the radiation.

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