But a series of nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s spiked this normally consistent ratio."After 1955 the level of radiocarbon in the atmosphere, and thus in living organisms, almost doubled in about 10 years," Pier Andrea Mandò, head of the Florence division of the INFN, explained in a statement.Carbon dating can only be used to date objects that were once living or even apart of a living organism. It cannot be used to directly date inorganic objects, such as rocks (other radioactive dating methods are used to date radioactive rocks).A painting in the Guggenheim collection initially attributed to French modern artist Fernand Léger has languished out of view for decades after it was suspected to be a fake.The team used a particle accelerator to measure the concentration of carbon 14 (an isotope of carbon that has more neutrons than normal carbon 12) in the fabric, which would in turn allow them to determine when the canvas was produced, or more specifically, when the cotton was cut to make the canvas.
"We cannot say anything more on its origin." The new findings don't rule out either the notion that the long strip of linen is a medieval forgery or that it's the true burial shroud of Jesus Christ, the researchers said. 1390, lending credence to the notion that it was an elaborate fake created in the Middle Ages.[Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus] According to legend, the shroud was secretly carried from Judea in A. 30 or 33, and was housed in Edessa, Turkey, and Constantinople (the name for Istanbul before the Ottomans took over) for centuries. So geologists have argued that an earthquake at Jesus' death could have released a burst of neutrons.The neutron burst not only would have thrown off the radiocarbon dating but also would have led to the darkened imprint on the shroud. In the current study, Barcaccia and his colleagues analyzed dust that they vacuumed from the shroud that contained traces of both plant and human DNA.They performed tests based on techniques including X-ray radiography and scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-Ray spectrometry.Though they demonstrated that the fibers in the canvases differed and that different pigments were used in the two paintings, they did not arrive at conclusive evidence.Choosing the right physical technique to analyze paintings can make all the difference when it comes to ascertaining their authenticity.