Published: Fri, November 03, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jose Becker

Great Pyramids mystery: Discovery of void leaves us full of questions

Great Pyramids mystery: Discovery of void leaves us full of questions

The cavity is the first major structure found inside the Great Pyramid since the 19th century, the research team said.

Though they don't know the precise dimensions, researchers say the hidden chamber is at least 100 feet long and located above a hallway about 155 feet long, known as the Grand Gallery, part of a maze of passages inside the pyramid. Experts are still divided over how they were constructed, so even relatively minor discoveries generate great interest.

"What is unusual, for me, is to use those very, very small particles for a huge monument like the pyramid", says Tayoubi.

The Great Pyramids of Egypt have been around for something like 5,000 years now and they've been an endless object of human fascination, so you'd think that after generations and generations of life between then and now, we would have discovered pretty much everything there is to know about these ancient triangular structures. Muons are by-products of cosmic rays and are only partially absorbed by stone.

To this day, the Egyptian pyramids remain a marvel of engineering with archaeologists still racking their brains to figure out how the ancient Egyptians were able to carry out such an endeavur.

At present, neither the particle physicists nor the world's Egyptologists have any idea just what goal the Big Void filled, nor what artefacts, if any, maybe sealed inside it.

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The pyramid was built during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu from 2509 to 2483 BCE.

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".

"We avoid the word chamber because it is not a chamber, but we know that it is a void", said Mehdi Tayoubi, an author of the study from the HIP Institute in France. These particles rain down and lose energy as they pass through materials - like the thick stones of the pyramid - and that makes them slow down and decay.

Detectors were set up inside the Pyramid, including in the so-called Queen's Chamber. If there's a big void, lots of muons will flow through.

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. Egyptologists banned the use of destructive methods to study the pyramids.

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