Muon radiography is non-invasive as Muon particles come naturally from the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, and are created from collisions of cosmic rays with the nuclei of atoms in the atmosphere.
Morishima said that the particles fall to the ground at nearly the speed of light with a constant rate of about 10,000 per m2 per minute. As with x-rays used to visualise human skeletons, these elementary particles, like heavy electrons, can very easily pass through any structure, even large, thick rocks and mountains. Detectors placed at appropriate places (e.g. inside the pyramid, under a possibly undetected chamber) allow with the accumulation of Muons over time to discern the void areas from denser areas as some of the particles are absorbed or deflected.
Muon radiography is now frequently used for the observation of volcanoes, which also involves research teams from the University of Nagoya. More recently, KEK, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, developed a detection approach based on electronic scintillators which are resistant to nuclear radiation, unlike chemical emulsions, in order to scan inside the Fukushima nuclear plant reactors.
The #ScanPyramids project was launched on October under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, and the Heritage, Innovation and Preservation Institute (HIP).
The project aims to scan over a one year period some of the Egyptian Pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Khafre Pyramid at the Giza Plateau, as well as King Snefru’s Bent and Red Pyramids at Dahshur necropolis. The #ScanPyramids combines several non-invasive and non-destructive scanning techniques in order to try to detect the presence of any unknown internal structures and cavities in ancient monuments, which may lead to a better understanding of their structure and their construction processes and techniques.