APS News

April 2019 (Volume 28, Number 4)

Letter to the Editor

Cosmic Rays, Pyramids, and the Void

The article "This Month in Physics History" in the February 2019 issue of APS News states that "archaeologists confirmed their discovery of a hidden burial chamber in an Egyptian pyramid in 2017..." This refers to a result published in Nature, however the authors of that paper never claimed detection of a burial chamber, only a void of unknown purpose. It is possibly a relieving chamber to reduce the weight of the stone above the grand gallery similar to series of smaller relieving chambers above the king's chamber. This is the most likely explanation since it is a known fact that the builders employed relieving chambers elsewhere in the pyramid, and the new void is directly above the main gallery, of similar dimensions to the main gallery.

The Great Pyramid was a remarkable feat of ancient engineering but was the result of a century of trial and error. The Egyptians learned from past mistakes, such as when they had to change the angle of the Bent Pyramid during construction, and may have taken a lesson from the possible partial collapse of the Meidum Pyramid.

Jeffery Winkler
Hanford, California

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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

April 2019 (Volume 28, Number 4)

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Articles in this Issue
At the Frontiers of Subatomic Physics
Kavli Symposium 2019: From Unit Cell to Biological Cell
Physicists Learn to Rewire Biology
The Division of Condensed Matter Physics
What Exactly is APSIT?
Fixing Wikipedia’s Diversity Problem
A Journey Through Quantum Space and Time
Reviews of Modern Physics 90th Anniversary Symposium
APS News Takes on LabEscape
Q&A: Bruce Wielicki Thinks the World Needs a Climate Observatory
This Month in Physics History
APS Office of Government Affairs
FYI: Science Policy News from AIP
Education and Diversity News
Letter to the Editor
The Back Page