Header Catrina

Baruch Fischhoff


Dr. Arturo Menchaca

The search of hidden vaults in historical sites is one of the most exiting tasks in archaeology which has led to surprising discoveries as much in Egypt (Giza) as in Mexico (Monte Albán and Palenque). This fascinating research is complicated in sites where excavation is not allowed and the penetrability of standard techniques, such as radar, is not sufficient. To tackle this problem, 40 years ago the Nobel Price Luis Alvarez proposed the use of modern cosmic ray detection technologies to carry out radiographic style measurements in the Great Pyramid of Chefren, in Egypt, eliminating speculations about undiscovered royal chambers, arisen from the similarity of Chefrén with its neighboring Pyramid of Cheops. These transmission measurements required the unusual existence of a tunnel running under the investigated monument. In Mexico, a tunnel located 8 meters under the Pyramid of the Sun (Teotihuacan) reaching near the center of its base, represented an extraordinary opportunity to carry out an Alvarez-type experiment there. As in Chefren, such a project should serve to test a long standing speculation about the possible existence of a ceremonial burial in the famous Mexican pyramid.

The presentation includes a brief description of the detector, and shows the first images taken during the first two years of operation, discussing their interpretation.

Dr. Arturo Menchaca is the Former President of the Mexican Academy and current director of UNAM's Institute of Physics, the largest research center on this subject in Mexico. He is also the Head of the Experimental Nuclear and High Energy Physics Group at Ifunam. His main research projects include the use of cosmic radiation for the search of hidden chambers on the pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan Mexico, and the development of the V0A detector for the ALICE collaboration in CERN, Geneva. Dr. Menchaca´s talk will describe his fascinating research in the Pyramids of Teotihuacan (Mexico).