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Studies on muon tomography for archaeological internal structures scanning

Abstract : Muon tomography is a potential non-invasive technique for internal structure scanning. It has already interesting applications in geophysics and can be used for archaeological purposes. Muon tomography is based on the measurement of the muon flux after crossing the structure studied. Differences on the mean density of these structures imply differences on the detected muon rate for a given direction. Based on this principle, Monte Carlo simulations represent a useful tool to provide a model of the expected muon rate and angular distribution depending on the composition of the studied object, being useful to estimate the expected detected muons and to better understand the experimental results. These simulations are mainly dependent on the geometry and composition of the studied object and on the modelling of the initial muon flux at surface. In this work, the potential of muon tomography in archaeology is presented and evaluated with Monte Carlo simulations by estimating the differences on the muon rate due to the presence of internal structures and its composition. The influence of the chosen muon model at surface in terms of energy and angular distributions in the final result has been also studied. 1. Introduction Among the different applications that muon tomography can have, the scanning of archaeological structures is one of the most innovative one. The principle of the method is straightforward. By detecting the muons that cross the studied object and reconstructing their directions, it is possible to identify the existence of significant differences in the muon rate for a given direction. These differences, consequence of a variation of the mean density of the object traversed by the muons, indicate the possible existence of an internal structure inside the object. The reconstruction of these internal structures by the analysis of the directions of the registered muons is frequently called inverse method. Some features of muon tomography are specially interesting for archaeology. It is a passive method since it is based on the detection of the atmospheric muons, which are naturally produced. Moreover, it is a non-invasive technique since the detector would be placed outside the object to study or, if possible, inside it if internal corridors and halls already exist, as is
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H Gómez, C Carloganu, Dominique Gibert, J Jacquemier, Y Karyotakis, et al.. Studies on muon tomography for archaeological internal structures scanning. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, IOP Publishing, 2016, 718 (5), pp.052016. ⟨10.1088/1742-6596/718/5/052016⟩. ⟨insu-01330742⟩

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