UT Maya Muon Tomography
Someting strange is happening in the forests of the Maya…
Particle physicists and archaeologists are getting together with a muon tomographic imager. These are usually left down deep dark holes to watch which cosmic rays are whizzing through the world and us all the time. However one of these machines is now being put to good use. It is going to be left near ‘structure 1’ in the forest in NW Belize. Over the coming weeks and months it’ll generate a picture of the internal dimensions of structure 1. It does this by recording 3 dimensionally the quantity of muons hitting it, thus if they’ve gone through solid wall there will be less of them than if some went through an empty room, thus a density map is created which can be made into a plan. Amazingly at the metre scale the machine would work upto 50-80m from its target!
L.W. Alvarez used this in the 60s on the Second Pyramid of Chephren in Egypt to find internal chambers. The technique worked but no chambers were found.
It’ll be interesting to see the results this time.