Scientists look at the Great Pyramid of Giza to design more efficient nanoparticles

The biggest pyramid of ancient Egypt is providing a template for some of the smallest particles ever made. In an article in Nanowerk, Austrian and Russian researchers studied the way the Great Pyramid of Giza resonates with radio waves in order to improve the efficiency of nanoparticles.

It seems the ancient wonder of the world is able to capture the electromagnetic energy of certain radio waves that resonate with it. The energy of those waves accumulates inside certain parts of the pyramid.

Researchers from the ITMO University and the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) believe this resonance property can be applied to nanoparticles. Their planned particles will be able to achieve a similar effect with optical light, making them very useful for solar cell and sensor technology.

They released their theoretical findings in the Journal of Applied Physics. (Related: Researchers identify and investigate the characteristics of gold nanoparticles in two plants.)

The Great Pyramid resonates with certain electromagnetic waves

Egypt’s pyramids are some of the oldest manmade structures on the planet. The Great Pyramid built by the pharaoh Khufu is the biggest. However, few studies have gone into the details of its physical properties, especially when it came to theoretical physics.

The ITMO University and LZH researchers became interested in the Great Pyramid’s interaction with electromagnetic waves of a certain resonant length. They analyzed this property through numerical modeling and analytical methods rooted in theoretical physics.

They theorized that radio waves which measured 200 to 600 meters in length could cause resonances in the pyramid. Based on this estimate, they created a model of the reaction of the pyramid.

The researchers used the model to determine the extinction cross-section, the total energy that the radio wave loses to absorption and scattering. They ascertained the specific part of the incident wave that gets absorbed or scattered by the pyramid.

Furthermore, they also mapped out the arrangement of the electromagnetic fields inside the pyramid during its resonant state. They found out that the pyramid accumulates electromagnetic energy inside its internal chambers and beneath its base, where the incomplete chamber is located.

A map of the electromagnetic fields of the Great Pyramid

The electromagnetic map of the pyramid was studied through the lens of a multipole analysis. A research technique used by physicists to find out how a complex object scatters its electromagnetic field, the analysis swaps out the object itself for a group of less complicated radiation sources called multipoles.

A set of multipoles will match the arrangement of the electromagnetic fields of the full object. They make it much simpler for researchers to explain and predict how the electromagnetic fields are distributed and arranged throughout the area.

“Egyptian pyramids have always attracted great attention,” explained Dr. Andrey Evlyukhin, who served as the scientific supervisor and coordinator of the team. “We as scientists were interested in them as well, so we decided to look at the Great Pyramid as a particle dissipating radio waves resonantly.”

Evlyukhin mentioned how his team needed to make several guesses about the physical properties of the pyramid. They guessed that the three chambers known to exist in modern times are the only spaces present inside the pyramid. They also assumed that the construction material was evenly divided inside and outside of the pyramid and that it shared the same properties as limestone.

ITMO University researcher Dr. Polina Kapitainova said that the lessons learned from this study can be applied to much smaller structures that measure nanometers instead of meters. She said that a material with the right electromagnetic traits could be used to make pyramid-shaped nanomaterials for use in solar cells and sensors.

Find out why you need to be aware of electromagnetic fields at

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