Cosmic particles could unlock the secrets of the pyramids

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The pyramids in Egypt represent some of the most ambitious engineering and construction achievements in the history of mankind.  After enjoying thousands of years as the subject of much fascination and mystery, the pyramids may soon find their secrets exposed. New insights into the construction of the structures may be revealed through the analysis of cosmic particles.

These particles, called “muons”, fall from the sky when cosmic rays hit our atmosphere. A muon particle’s fall to the earth is slowed in accordance with the shape and density of the matter it passes through on its way down. Researchers have discovered that if muon detectors are planted around the base of a structure, over time information can be gathered as to the trajectory of muons through that structure, revealing a 3D map of its interior.

The technology is able to reveal secret rooms and hidden chambers deep in ancient ruins without damaging or disturbing them. Detectors that have been collecting data on the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur will soon be analysed, and plans are in place to give Khufu of the Giza pyramids the same treatment next month.

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