Washington DC: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1970. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPS OF THE FIRST USE OF MUON RADIOGRAPHY TO SEARCH PYRAMIDS. Luis Walter Alvarez (1911-1988) used cosmic rays to search for hidden chambers in the pyramids and in the paper offered here, Alvarez describes the experiment and its results. In 1968 he was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics 1968, the first Latino to do so. Specifically, the award noted “ his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analysis” (Nobel Prize Committee).
Early in his scientific career, Alvarez, always an experimental physicist, worked concurrently in the fields of optics and cosmic rays. Beginning in 1967, he began to devote much of his time to the study of cosmic rays – this, just as “scientists [were] first [starting to use] the tools of particle physics to study ancient structures in the 1960s. In 1967, Alvarez gained access to the Pyramid of Khafre—the second largest of Giza’s ancient pyramids—and installed a muon detector in an underground room.
“Alvarez and his colleagues were looking for chambers that might not have been found through other methods. Muons can pass through thick layers of stone, and by analyzing their relative positions, detectors can form a picture of any structure that the muons had passed through. In particular, this sort of analysis can show where there are large gaps in the stone, representing hidden rooms.
“In that first experiment, the data from the detectors did not reveal any unknown secrets in Khafre’s pyramid. In the decades since, though, the technology for muon detection has improved immensely. Today’s instruments pick up less noise and are far more precise. Advances in computational power mean that optical analysis, simulations, and real-time data acquisition have all improved, too” (Laskow, Found: A Large ‘Void’ Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza). Just as Alvarez hoped, the tools of particle physics hint that there’s still more to discover about one of the world’s most famous monuments. Item #1380
CONDITION & DETAILS: Washington, DC: The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Original wrappers. 8vo. On the rear, the issue bears the address label of Glenn I. Huss who made a number of contributions to the study of meteorites (Meteoritical Society, 1992, Mermorium). Slight fading to the wraps. Clean throughout. Near fine.