The Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO) is one of the most sensitive gamma-ray detector arrays currently operating at TeV and PeV energies. Recently the LHAASO experiment detected ultra-high-energy (UHE; Eγ≳100 TeV ) photon emissions up to 1.4 PeV from twelve astrophysical gamma-ray sources. We point out that the detection of cosmic photons at such energies can constrain the photon self-decay motivated by superluminal Lorentz symmetry violation (LV) to a higher level, thus can put strong constraints to certain LV frameworks. Meanwhile, we suggest that the current observation of the PeV-scale photon with LHAASO may provide hints to permit a subluminal type of Lorentz violation in the proximity of the Planckian regime, and may be compatible with the light speed variation at the scale of 3.6 ×1017 GeV recently suggested from gamma-ray burst (GRB) time delays. We further propose detecting PeV photons coming from extragalactic sources with future experiments, based on LV-induced threshold anomalies of e+e- pair-production, as a crucial test of subluminal Lorentz violation. We comment that these observations are consistent with a D-brane/string-inspired quantum-gravity framework, the space-time foam model.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- September 2021
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- 7 latex pages, final version for publication