Violations of Lorentz invariance can lead to an energy-dependent vacuum dispersion of light, which results in arrival-time differences of photons arising with different energies from a given transient source. In this work, direction-dependent dispersion constraints are obtained on nonbirefringent Lorentz-violating operators in effective field theory, using the observed spectral lags of the gamma-ray burst GRB 160625B. This burst has unusually large high-energy photon statistics, so we can obtain constraints from the true spectral time lags of bunches of high-energy photons rather than from the rough time lag of a single highest-energy photon. Also, GRB 160625B is the only burst to date having a well-defined transition from positive lags to negative lags, which provides a unique opportunity to distinguish Lorentz-violating effects from any source-intrinsic time lag in the emission of photons of different energy bands. Our results place comparatively robust two-sided constraints on a variety of isotropic and anisotropic coefficients for Lorentz violation, including first bounds on Lorentz-violating effects from operators of mass dimension ten in the photon sector.
J. Wei, X. Wu, B. Zhang, et. al.
Fri, 21 Apr 17
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, 1 table