High-energy cosmic rays and tests of basic principles of Physics
Looking at the Planck scale and beyond
LAPP, Université de Savoie, CNRS/IN2P3, B.P. 110, 74941 Annecy-le-Vieux Cedex, France
a e-mail: lgm\firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 10 April 2014
With the present understanding of data, the observed flux suppression for ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) at energies above 4.1019 eV can be a signature of the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin (GZK) cutoff or be related to a similar mechanism. But it may also correspond, for instance, to the maximum energies available at the relevant sources. In both cases, violations of special relativity modifying cosmic-ray propagation or acceleration at very high energy can potentially play a role. Other violations of fundamental principles of standard particle physics (quantum mechanics, energy and momentum conservation, vacuum homogeneity and “static” properties, effective space dimensions, quark confinement…) can also be relevant at these energies. In particular, UHECR data would in principle allow to set bounds on Lorentz symmetry violation (LSV) in patterns incorporating a privileged local reference frame (the “vacuum rest frame”, VRF). But the precise analysis is far from trivial, and other effects can also be present. The effective parameters can be related to Planckscale physics, or even to physics beyond Planck scale, as well as to the dynamics and effective symmetries of LSV for nucleons, quarks, leptons and the photon. LSV can also be at the origin of GZK-like effects. In the presence of a VRF, and contrary to a “grand unification” view, LSV and other violations of standard principles can modify the internal structure of particles at very high energy and conventional symmetries may cease to be valid at energies close to the Planck scale. We present an updated discussion of these topics, including experimental prospects, new potentialities for high-energy cosmic ray phenomenology and the possible link with unconventional pre-Big Bang scenarios, superbradyon (superluminal preon) patterns… The subject of a possible superluminal propagation of neutrinos at accelerator energies is also dealt with.
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