Cosmic ray scanning may reveal hidden ‘voids’ in the Great Pyramid of Giza

(ORDO NEWS) — A new super-powerful cosmic ray scan of the Great Pyramid of Giza may reveal the identity of two mysterious voids within.

The largest of the two voids is located directly above the great gallery – the passage that leads to Pharaoh Khufu’s chamber – and is about 98 feet (30 meters) long and 20 feet (6 meters) high, according to previous scans of the pyramid.

Archaeologists aren’t sure what they’ll find in the void, which could be one large square or several small rooms, they said.

They also hope to find out the function of this void; the most fantastic possibility is that the hole is Khufu’s hidden burial chamber. A more mundane possibility is that the cavity played some role in the construction of the pyramid.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, built for Pharaoh Khufu (r. 2551 BC to 2528 BC), is the largest pyramid ever built in Ancient Egypt and the only surviving wonder of the ancient world.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, built for Pharaoh Khufu (r. 2551 to 2528 BC), is the largest pyramid ever built in Ancient Egypt and the only surviving wonder of the ancient world.

In 2015-2017, the Pyramid Scan project conducted a series of scans that analyzed muons – cosmic particles that regularly fall on Earth – to detect any voids. In 2017, these scans revealed both voids.

Now the new team plans to scan the Great Pyramid again, but this time with a more powerful system that will analyze muons in more detail. Muons are negatively charged elementary particles that are formed when cosmic rays collide with atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere.

These high-energy particles are constantly falling to the Earth (yes, they are harmless); because they behave differently when interacting with, say, rock and air, researchers can use ultra-sensitive detectors to pinpoint particles and map areas they cannot physically explore, as is the case with the Great Pyramid.

Cosmic ray scanning may reveal hidden voids in the Great Pyramid of Giza 2

“We plan to create a telescope system that will be 100 times more sensitive than the equipment that was recently used on the Great Pyramid,” the team writes in a paper published on the arXiv preprint server. Articles published on preprint servers have not yet been reviewed by other scientists in the field.

“Because the proposed detectors are very large, they cannot be placed inside the pyramid, so our approach is to place them outside and move along the base. In this way, we will be able to collect muons from all angles to collect the necessary data set,” writes the team. in your article.

“Using very large muon telescopes placed outside the [Great Pyramid] can produce much higher resolution images due to the large number of muons detected,” they added.

The researchers noted that the detectors are so sensitive that they can even detect the presence of artifacts inside voids.

If “a few m3 are filled with a material [such as ceramics, metals, stone or wood], we should be able to distinguish it from air,” Alan Bross, a scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and co-author of the work, said in an email to Live Science.

The need for funds

The team has received permission from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to carry out the scans, but they still need funds to build the equipment and place it next to the Great Pyramid.

“We are looking for sponsors for the entire project,” Bross said. “Once we get full funding, we estimate it will take [about] two years to build the detectors,” Bross said. At present, the group only has enough funds to conduct simulations and develop some prototypes, Bross said.

Once the telescopes are deployed, they will need some time to collect data.

“Once we deploy the telescopes after about one year of observations, we expect to have preliminary results. We will need two to three years of observations to collect enough muon data to achieve full sensitivity to study the [Great Pyramid],” Bross said.

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