TSU’s Geant4 helped to find a new room in the pyramid of Cheops

18 January 2018

In 2017, the international team of scientists Scan Pyramids found previously unknown areas in the Pyramid of Cheops by muon tomography of Egyptian pyramids. One of the developers of the Geant4 program that was used for this is Evgeny Chernyaev, a researcher at the Laboratory of Experimental High Energy Physics of TSU.

A hidden room is located above the large gallery leading to the Chamber of the Pharaoh. It is not less than 30 meters long and about 15 meters high. The purpose of the room is not yet clear. This is the first major discovery since the 19th century in the Pyramid of Cheops, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the World to survive to this day, and it was accomplished without excavation.

- The Scan Pyramids used Geant4 tools for its research, and it's not surprising,- commented Evgeny Chernyaev. - First, today Geant4 is the most advanced, and therefore the most in-demand, program for modeling the passage of particles through matter. Second, it is in the public domain, and any user can download it from the site geant4.cern.ch and install it on the computer.

Geant4 can be used to simulate the passage of cosmic particles through the material of the pyramid. Cosmic muons are secondary particles that are formed as a result of the collision of cosmic rays with atoms and molecules of the earth's atmosphere. Muons easily permeate stone blocks and are therefore suitable for muon tomography of such massive objects as pyramids. If the object has a void, there will be a significant increase in the flux of muons in the direction of the void.

- We have been developing the Geant4 program for more than 20 years, and the scope of this program is constantly expanding. This is not only high-energy physics, but also medicine, biology, chemistry, space, and astrophysics. For example, in Japan it was used online during an operation to irradiate a cancer patient. The total number of references to the key publication on Geant4 has long exceeded 10,000, and it is constantly growing, - said Evgeny Chernyaev.

TSU scientists are using the technology of muon tomography to create the newest detectors for the ATLAS collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. In addition, the staff of the Laboratory for Experimental High Energy Physics gives lectures and conducts practical classes on Geant4 in the campus courses of TSU.