In vacuo dispersion features for gamma-ray-burst neutrinos and photons

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Over the past 15 years there has been considerable interest in the possibility of quantum-gravity-induced in vacuo dispersion, the possibility that spacetime itself might behave essentially like a dispersive medium for particle propagation. Two recent studies have exposed what might be in vacuo dispersion features for gamma-ray-burst (GRB) neutrinos of energy in the range of 100 TeV and for GRB photons with energy in the range of 10 GeV. We here show that these two features are roughly compatible with a description such that the same effects apply over four orders of magnitude in energy. We also show that it should not happen so frequently that such pronounced features arise accidentally, as a result of (still unknown) aspects of the mechanisms producing photons at GRBs or as a result of background neutrinos accidentally fitting the profile of a GRB neutrino affected by in vacuo dispersion.

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Figure 1: Δ t versus E * for our maximum-correlation GRB neutrino candidates
Figure 2: Δ t /(1 + z ) vs E*/(1 + z ) for our GRB photons.
Figure 3: t |/(1 + z ) versus E*/(1 + z ) for our GRB photons and GRB neutrino candidates.


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We are very grateful to B.-Q. Ma and S. Puccetti for valuable discussions on some of the data used here. We also gratefully acknowledge conversations with F. Fiore and L. Smolin. The work of G.R. was supported by funds provided by the National Science Center under the agreement DEC-2011/02/A/ST2/00294. N.L. acknowledges support by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 2007-2013) under grant agreement 291823 Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2011-COFUND (the new International Fellowship Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers in Croatia — NEWFELPRO), and also partial support from the H2020 Twinning project no. 692194, ‘RBI-TWINNING’.

Author information

G.A.-C. was in charge of project planning, led most of the interpretation, and assisted in data analysis. G.D'A. and G.R. had the leading role in the data analysis and assisted in the interpretation. N.L. assisted in the data analysis and assisted in the interpretation.

Correspondence to Giovanni Amelino-Camelia.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Supplementary Table 1 and Supplementary Figure 1. (PDF 119 kb)

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Amelino-Camelia, G., D’Amico, G., Rosati, G. et al. In vacuo dispersion features for gamma-ray-burst neutrinos and photons. Nat Astron 1, 0139 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41550-017-0139

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