New research provides preliminary evidence in support of a model of quantum gravity that suggests that the velocity of ultrarelativistic particles decreases with increasing energy. The study used data from the Fermi telescope and the IceCube neutrino observatory to validate the theory. The findings mark a significant advance in the field of quantum gravity.
Researchers have reached a milestone in the field of quantum gravity research by finding preliminary statistical support for quantum gravity.
In a study published in Natural Astronomy On June 12, a team of researchers from the University of Naples “Federico II”, the University of Wroclaw and the University of Bergen examined a model of quantum gravity particle propagation in which the velocity of ultrarelativistic particles decreases with increasing energy. This effect should be extremely small, proportional to the ratio of the particle’s energy to the Planck scale, but when very distant astrophysical sources are observed, it can build up to observable levels. The research used gamma-ray bursts observed by the Fermi telescope and ultrahigh-energy neutrinos detected by the IceCube neutrino observatory, testing the hypothesis that some neutrinos and gamma-ray bursts may have a common origin but are observed at different times as a result of energy dependent speed reduction.
By combining data from IceCube and Fermi, we found preliminary evidence supporting quantum gravity models that predict this effect. This marks a milestone in the field of quantum gravity research, as it is the first time that such a level of statistical evidence in support of quantum gravity has been found,” says corresponding author Professor Giovanni Amelino-Camelia from the University of Naples on behalf of the team.
While these findings are preliminary, they provide a solid foundation for more detailed investigations as we continue to collect data from our gamma-ray and neutrino telescopes. Even if future data does not confirm this effect, our results would still provide hard bounds on the relevant model parameters, which would already represent a rare and remarkable step for quantum gravity research,” adds Amelino-Camelia.