Some researchers have suggested that corona discharge phenomenon or proton radiation is responsible for the Shroud body image formation, while neutron radiation is liable to a wrong radiocarbon dating. On the other hand, no plausible physical reason has been proposed to explain the radiation source origin, and its possible effects on the linen fibres. However, some recent studies, carried out by the authors 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 reaction processes. Neutron flux variations, in correspondence to seismic activity, should be a result of piezonuclear reactions. Considering also the Earth’s crust, in addition to cosmic rays, as being a relevant source of neutron flux variations, other researchers measured a neutron flux exceeding the background by three orders of magnitude in correspondence to seismic activity and rather appreciable earthquakes (4th Richter’s degree). In the first part of this work, the authors consider the possibility that neutron emissions by earthquake piezonuclear reactions could have induced the image formation on Shroud linen fibres through thermal neutron capture on nitrogen nuclei, and provided a wrong radiocarbon dating due to an increment in content. Then they describe their previous studies on the phenomenon of neutron emissions from brittle rocks failure through mechanical tests and microchemical analysis, as well as its relevant geological consequences.
Key words: Shroud of Turin, neutron emission, piezonuclear reactions, rocks crushing failure, plate tectonics, element evolution.
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