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Lorentz Invariance Violation and Quantum Gravity : constraints from astrophysical observations of extragalactic transient events

Abstract : Some Quantum Gravity (QG) theories allow for a violation of Lorentz invariance (LIV), manifesting as a dependence on the velocity of light in vacuum on its energy. If such a dependence exists, then photons of different energies emitted together by a distant source will arrive at the Earth at different times. (Very) high energy transient emissions from distant astrophysical sources such as Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) and blazars can be used to search for and constrain LIV. This work presents the studies obtained with two leading Gamma-ray telescopes: H.E.S.S. -- for which a study of the quality of the calibrated data was performed -- and Fermi-LAT. The energies and arrival times of individual photons were used to constrain the vacuum dispersion parameter and the energy scale EQG at which QG effects causing LIV may arise. The maximum likelihood method is described, with detailed studies of the systematics. A modification for a non-negligible background is provided and applied to the data of an AGN flare observed by H.E.S.S.: the obtained limits on the QG energy scale are less constraining than the previous best limits obtained with blazars; yet, the new limits lie a redshift range not covered this far. Four bright and quasi background-free GRBs observed by the Fermi-LAT were also analysed, with two different template light curve determinations -- Gaussian fits and Kernel Density Estimates. The best limits on the E_QG scale for the linear/subluminal case are from the shortest burst, GRB090510: E_QG,1 > 7.6 E_Planck. More robust limits, considering the intrinsic effects possibly occurring at the source, were also derived.
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Camille Couturier. Lorentz Invariance Violation and Quantum Gravity : constraints from astrophysical observations of extragalactic transient events. Physics [physics]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014PA066555⟩. ⟨tel-01219651⟩

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