The Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy, study shows, which could enable new sensors and solar cells

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Scientists from the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) and Russia's ITMO University international research group have found that under resonance conditions, the Great Pyramid of Giza can concentrate electromagnetic energy both in its internal chambers and the area located under its base. The research group plans to apply these findings to design nanoparticles capable of reproducing similar effects in the optical range. Such nanoparticles may be used to develop sensors and highly efficient solar cells. The study has been published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

The intrnational research team took an interest in how the Great Pyramid would interact with electromagnetic waves of a proportional, or resonant, length. Calculations showed that in the resonant state the pyramid can concentrate electromagnetic energy in its internal chambers as well as under its base, where the third unfinished chamber is located.

These conclusions were derived on the basis of numerical modelling and analytical methods of physics. The researchers first estimated that resonances in the pyramid can be induced by radio waves with a length ranging from 200 to 600 metres. Then they made a model of the electromagnetic response of the pyramid and calculated the extinction cross section. This value helps to estimate which part of the incident wave energy can be scattered or absorbed by the pyramid under resonant conditions. Finally, for the same conditions, the scientists obtained the electromagnetic fields distribution inside the pyramid.

3D model of the pyramid. Credit: cheops.SU

In order to explain the results, the scientists conducted a multipole analysis. This method is widely used in physics to study the interaction between a complex object and electromagnetic field. The object scattering the field is replaced by a set of simpler sources of radiation: multipoles. The collection of multipoles radiation coincides with the field scattering by an entire object. Therefore, by knowing the type of each multipole, it is possible to predict and explain the distribution and configuration of the scattered fields in the whole system.

The Great Pyramid attracted the researchers’ attention while they were studying the interaction between light and dielectric nanoparticles. The scattering of light by nanoparticles depends on their size, shape, and refractive index of the source material. By varying these parameters, it is possible to determine the resonance scattering regimes and use them to develop devices for controlling light at the nanoscale.

'Egyptian pyramids have always attracted great attention. We as scientists were interested in them as well, and so we decided to look at the Great Pyramid as a particle resonantly dissipating radio waves. Due to the lack of information about the physical properties of the pyramid, we had to make some assumptions. For example, we assumed that there are no unknown cavities inside, and the building material has the properties of an ordinary limestone and is evenly distributed in and out of the pyramid. With these assumptions, we obtained interesting results that can have important practical applications,' said Andrey Evlyukhin, DSc, scientific supervisor and coordinator of the research.

Now the scientists plan to use the results to reproduce similar effects at the nanoscale.

'By choosing a material with suitable electromagnetic properties, we can obtain pyramidal nanoparticles with a potential for practical application in nanosensors and effective solar cells,' says Polina Kapitanova, PhD, associate at the Faculty of Physics and Engineering of ITMO University.

The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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