Researchers Using Cosmic Ray Technology to Scan the Great Pyramid for a Secret Chamber
By: April Carson
The Great Pyramid of Giza may hold the answers to two enigmatic voids hidden behind its massive blocks, according to a new ultra-powerful scan.
The new findings, published in Nature Communications, could help solve the enduring mystery of what purpose the chambers served.
According to prior pyramid scans, the main void is located slightly above the great gallery — a corridor that leads to what may be the pharaoh Khufu's chamber— and is about 98 feet (30 meters) long and 20 feet (6 m) tall. Archaeologists are unsure what they will discover in the void, which might be one big area or a number of little rooms. They also want to learn more about the purpose of that hole; the most exciting possibility is that it is Khufu's secret burial chamber. The cavity's function could be anything from an essential element in the construction of the pyramid to a modest role in its creation.
The north face of the pyramid, which had two voids discovered in prior scans, now has a third, considerably smaller one. Its purpose is also a mystery.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Cheops Pyramid, is the largest pyramid in ancient Egypt and the only surviving wonder of the ancient world. It was built for Pharaoh Khufu (reign 2551 B.C. to 2528 B.C.) during the 26th Dynasty (2520 B.C.).
The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the pyramid of Cheops, is Egypt's largest pyramid and the only surviving wonder of the ancient world. It was built for Pharaoh Khufu (reign 2551 B.C. to 2528 B.C.) and is located in Giza, Egypt.
The "Scan Pyramids" project ran a series of scans between 2015 and 2017 that analyzed muons - cosmic particles that frequently rain on Earth - to look for any voids. Those scans identified both of the holes in 2017.
The Great Pyramid will be re-scanned utilizing a more powerful system that will examine muons in further depth, according to a new group. Muons are negatively charged elementary particles produced when cosmic rays collide with atoms in Earth's atmosphere. These energetic particles, which constantly rain down on Earth, can be detected with highly sensitive detectors and mapped to avoid areas they cannot physically explore, as with the Great Pyramid.
According to the scientists, "We intend to deploy a telescope system with sensitivity of up to 100 times that of equipment previously employed at the Great Pyramid." Preprint papers posted on the preprint server arXiv have not yet been subjected to peer review.
"We propose using large detectors placed outside the pyramid that cannot be positioned within it, so our technique is to set them outside and advance them along the base. In this manner, we can collect muons from all directions in order to compile a sufficient data set," the researchers wrote in their paper.
The use of extremely big muon telescopes placed outside the Great Pyramid can yield much higher resolution pictures because to the high number of detected muons, according to them.
The researchers emphasized that the sensors are so sensitive that they may even detect objects within the voids. "If a few m3 of material [such as ceramics, metals, stone or wood] is contained within," says Bross, a physicist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and co-author of the study, "we should be able to tell it from air."
The archaeologists have obtained permission from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to conduct the scans, but they need money to buy equipment and install it next to the Great Pyramid. The team has started a crowdfunding campaign to finance the project.
"We are seeking for sponsors for the whole project," Bross added. " We believe it will take around two years to construct the detectors once we have sufficient funding," he continued. Currently, according to Bross, the group only has enough money to perform simulations and develop some prototypes.
Once the telescopes are set up, they will need to gather information. "After we deploy the telescopes after about a year of viewing time, we expect to have preliminary findings. We'll require between two and three years' worth of muon data to reveal full sensitivity for [the Great Pyramid] research," Bross added.
The group has already been able to use computer simulations to map out what the inside of the Great Pyramid might look like, and they hope that their technology will be able to provide even more detailed information. "This is a very exciting time for us," Bross said. "We believe that our technology has the potential to uncover never-before-seen features inside the Great Pyramid and other archaeological sites."
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
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