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HAWC Group Tests Einstein's Theory of Relativity with Extreme Astronomy

Humberto combo
A combined figure showing the sky in TeV gamma rays, along with water tanks from the HAWC observatory.

Photo credit: HAWC

Professor Jim Linnemann along with his recently graduated PhD student Sam Marinelli, current grad student Joe Lundeen, and other collaborators have published a Physical Reviews Letter testing Einstein's theory of relativity with high energy gamma rays observed by HAWC.

The group combed through the HAWC data to identify the rare gamma rays above 100 TeV coming from four astrophysical sources. They found that the gamma-ray energy spectra of the sources continue normally to at least 285 TeV, leading to an improvement of the minimum energy scale for violations of Lorentz invariance by a factor of 100.

See the related NatSci article for more details.