Some recent searches for quantum gravity signatures using observations of distant astrophysical sources will be discussed, focusing on the search for Lorentz invariance violation (LIV) in the form of a dependence of the photon propagation speed on its energy. Fermi gamma-ray space telescope observations of ~8 keV to ~30 GeV photons from a short (< 1 s) gamma-ray burst (GRB 090510) at a cosmological distance (z = 0.903), enabled for the first time to put a direct time of flight limit on a possible linear variation of the speed of light with photon energy that is beyond the Planck scale. Parameterizing |v/c-1| = E/E_{QG} our most conservative limits are E_{QG}/E_{Planck} > 1.2, while less conservative limits are up to 1-2 orders of magnitude stricter. Other types of astrophysical searches for LIV will be briefly outlined, along with some prospects for the future.


Talk Number PIRSA:12100058
Speaker Profile Jonathan Granot