A screen displays live footage from a thermal camera ahead of a press conference in front of the Khufu pyramid in Giza, Egypt.
(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File/Coralie Carlson)
Particles may contain clues to Egypt's pyramid
January 22, 2016
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An international team of researchers will soon begin analyzing cosmic particles collected inside Egypt's Bent Pyramid. The team will search for clues as to how it was built and learn more about the 4,600-year-old structure.
Mehdi Tayoubi, president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute, said that plates planted inside the pyramid in January have collected data on radiographic particles. They are known as muons. They rain down from the earth's atmosphere.
The particles pass through empty spaces but can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces. By studying particle accumulations, scientists may learn more about the construction of the pyramid, built by the Pharaoh Snefru.
"For the construction of the pyramids, there is no single theory that is 100 percent proven or checked. They are all theories and hypotheses," said Hany Helal. He is the institute's vice president.
"We would like to confirm or change or upgrade or modify the hypotheses that we have on how the pyramids were constructed," he said.
The Bent Pyramid is in Dahshur. That is just outside Cairo. The Bent Pyramid is distinguished by the bent slope of its sides. It is believed to have been ancient Egypt's first attempt to build a smooth-sided pyramid.
The Scan Pyramids project announced in November thermal anomalies in the 4,500-year-old Khufu Pyramid in Giza. The project is coupling thermal technology with muons analysis to try to unlock secrets to the construction of several ancient Egyptian pyramids.
Tayoubi said the group plans to start preparations for muons testing in a month in Khufu, the largest of the three Giza pyramids. It is known internationally as Cheops.
"Even if we find one square meter void somewhere, it will bring new questions and hypotheses. And maybe it will help solve the definitive questions," said Tayoubi.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are scientists interested in old particles?
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