Cosmic Rays Reveal Further Secrets of the Bent Pyramid

May 10, 2016

A team of researchers has presented the results of an analysis focused on the internal structure of the Bent Pyramid of pharaoh Sneferu (Snefru), a 4,500-year-old monument named after its sloping upper half.

Researchers from Egypt, Japan, Canada, and France have connected their knowledge and experience to work on the Scan Pyramids project. They are using innovative methods to take a look inside four of the ancient pyramids in Egypt without damaging their structures. Now, the picture they have received of the Bent Pyramid is as clear as if they had used an X-ray.

The study is based on three modern technologies: infrared thermography, 3D scans with lasers, and cosmic-ray detectors. All of them have allowed the researchers to take better look inside the pyramids.

Using the infrared thermography technique, the researchers measured the infrared energy emitted from the structures. The results of their testing were used to estimate the temperature distribution inside. Then, the team used lasers to bounce narrow pulses of light off the interiors of the Bent Pyramid. The last part of the research was locating cosmic particles, muons, within the structure, using detector plates.

Muons are formed at the moment when cosmic rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere. The particles rain down from the atmosphere, pass through empty spaces, and they can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces. They don’t affect the human body, but if special detector plates are used, they can be tracked.

Kunihiro Morishima, from the Institute for Advanced Research of Nagoya University, Japan, placed 80 plates in the lower chamber of the Bent pyramid. They covered an area of about 10 square feet (0.93 sq. meters) and stayed there for 40 days. Following an analysis of these plates, the researchers were able to create 3D images of the pyramid,which revealed the shape of all of the chambers inside the pyramid.

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