Cosmic particles reveal mysterious void in Egypt's great pyramid

03 November, 2017, 00:55 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Cosmic rays lead to pyramid discovery

According to Nature, the large, previously unknown "big void" inside the Great Pyramid is the first major interior structure found there in well over a century. The goal was to test whether they could use muons to accurately discern two well-known rooms located above: the King's Chamber and Grand Gallery.

Experts are still divided over how it and other pyramids were constructed, so even relatively minor discoveries generate great interest.

What lies in the middle of the structure has been subject to debate for years as researchers were unable to get a look inside.

A large, hidden void has been uncovered deep inside the Great Pyramid of Giza with the help of a state-of-the-art imaging system which can "see" through stone.

To try and better understand what lies inside the pyramid, an worldwide team of researchers imaged the internal structure using subatomic particles called muons - by-products of cosmic rays which can penetrate stone.

The objective of the space is unclear, and it is not yet known whether it was built with a function in mind or if it is merely a gap in the pyramid's architecture.




Built over 4,500 years ago during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu, the pyramid has been home to thousands of archeological studies.

The Verge laid out a succinct, easy to understand, and extremely radical-sounding explanation of muons: "Muons are produced when the cosmic rays that permeate our Universe and pummel our atmosphere break down - creating a kind of subatomic confetti that rains down on Earth at nearly the speed of light".

"What we are sure about is that this big void is there, that it is impressive, that it was not expected by, as far as I know, any kind of theory", Mehdi Tayoubi, president and co-founder of the HIP Institute told Reuters. The particles function like x-rays but can penetrate stone hundreds of meters thick.

One archaeologist, who recently discovered a long lost waterway to the ancient pyramids, says the void could have been intentionally put there by the ancient Egyptians.

The fact that we're only now discovering it could be due to the fact that researchers were using highly advanced technology when they detected the space. However, some historians are more excited than others about the discovery. "There are many voids in the pyramid because of construction reasons", Egyptologist Zahi Hawass claims.

Archaeology workers toil in front of the Great Pyramid, in Giza, Egypt, in 2010. The study of the pyramids has been going on for an very bad long time.

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