Physicists found in the Great Pyramid mysterious structure: how?

Particle physics found a large, hidden void in the pyramid of Khufu, the largest pyramid in Giza, Egypt, built between 2600 and 2500 years BC. The discovery, which was written in Nature, was made with the use of imaging based on cosmic rays and can help scientists figure out how to actually mysterious pyramid was built.

Physicists found in the Great Pyramid mysterious structure: how?

The basis of their particle tracking technology is called muons. They are very similar to electrons - of the same charge and the quantum property called spin - but 207 times heavier. This difference in mass is very important, because it determines how these particles interact when faced with matter.

High-energy electrons emit electromagnetic radiation, such as X-rays, when faced with a solid - whereby lose energy and get stuck in it. Since the mass of the muon much higher electromagnetic radiation emission is suppressed at 207 times as compared with electrons. Therefore, the muons are not so quick stop when confronted with any substance - they are perfectly pierce right through him.

Muons are usually born in the cosmic rays. The upper atmosphere of the Earth is constantly bombarded by charged particles from the sun and other sources outside of our solar system. It provides the latest high-energy cosmic rays that can generate muons and other particles in the chain reactions.

Physicists found in the Great Pyramid mysterious structure: how?

Since the muons have a relatively long period of life and quite stable, they are the most abundant particles in cosmic rays, visible at ground level. And while on the way to lose a lot of energy, sometimes we observe muons with its very high indicator.

The muons in the service of science

Detect these particles quite easily. They leave a thin trail "ionization" in its path - that is, knock electrons out of the atoms, leaving the atoms charged. It is very convenient: the scientists can use multiple detectors to trace the path of a muon to the source of its origin. Moreover, if the path will muon many substances, it can lose all of the energy trapped in the material and disintegrate (split into other particles) to direct detection.

These properties make the muons are excellent candidates for subjects that are usually impervious or opaque to our usual methods of observation. Just as the bones left a shadow on the photographic film, exposed to X-rays, heavy and dense object with a high atomic number will cast a shadow, or reduce the number of muons, capable of passing through the object.

First muons have been used in this way in 1955, when George EP measured stripping rock above the tunnel, comparing the flux of muons from the outside and inside. The first known attempt to make "myuogrammu" took place in 1970, when Luis Alvarez sought extended cavity in the second pyramid of Giza, but found none.

Over the past ten years, the muon tomography has gained a second wind. In 2007, the Japanese did myuogrammu Asama volcano crater to explore its inner structure.

Muon scans are also used to study the remains of the reactor at Fukushima.

By examining Khufu

The easiest way to learn a large object like a pyramid using muons - to look at the differences in the flow of muons passing through it. Solid pyramid will leave a shadow or reduce the number of muons passing through it. If the pyramid is a great emptiness, the muon flux will increase in the course of this emptiness. The greater the difference between "hard" and "hollow", the easier it is to find it.

All you need to do is to sit down somewhere nearby, looking slightly upward from the horizon to the pyramid, and count the number of muons coming from all sides. Since cosmic muons must be energetic, to go through the whole pyramid, and as our "eyes" are relatively small, we have to sit down and calculate the time, usually several months to count enough muons. Similarly, we use the two eyes make up a three-dimensional picture of the world in his head, we will need two separate detektora- "eyes" to get the three-dimensional image of emptiness inside the pyramid.

Physicists found in the Great Pyramid mysterious structure: how?

An interesting approach in this team is that they have chosen three different detector technologies for the study of the pyramid. The first of them, a few old-fashioned, but offers a higher resolution of the image: photographic plates, which were blackened by ionization. They were left for several months in one of the famous pyramid of cameras and analyzed in Japan after the data collection.

The second method is to use plastic "scintillators", which produce a light flash when a charged particle passes through them. These types of detectors are used in several modern neutrino experiments. Finally, the chamber filled with gas, you can control the ionization caused by charged particles, have been used to directly view the newly found void.

Physicists found in the Great Pyramid mysterious structure: how?

The electronic signal of these detectors is transmitted directly to Paris on 3G. Of course, the pyramid with the three known giant cavities and the empty gallery inside - quite a complicated subject to myuogrammy (it shows only black and white). So often these images should be compared with computer simulations of cosmic muons and studied the pyramid parallel. Careful analysis of pictures of all three detectors, and computer models showed the 30-meter void that was unknown until now, the Great Pyramid of Giza. The striking success of the new instruments.

Now this method can help us to explore the detailed shape of the cavities. Although we do not know anything about the role of this structure, research projects involving scientists from other disciplines may be based on a new study. It's nice to see how cutting-edge particle physics helps us to shed light on ancient human culture.