Luis Gonzalez-Mestres
Possible effects of Lorentz symmetry violation on the interaction
properties of very high-energy cosmic rays
(46K, LaTex)
ABSTRACT. Special relativity has been tested at low energy with great accuracy,
but these results cannot be extrapolated to the very high-energy region.
Introducing a critical distance scale, $a$ , below $10^{-25}~ cm$ (the
wavelength scale of the highest-energy observed cosmic rays) allows to
consider models, compatible with standard tests of special relativity,
where a small violation of Lorentz symmetry ($a$ can, for instance, be the
Planck length $\approx 10^{-33}~cm$) produces dramatic effects on the
properties of very high-energy particles. Lorentz symmetry violation may
potentially solve all the basic problems raised by the highest-energy cosmic
rays (origin and energy, propagation...). Furthermore, superluminal sectors of
matter may exist and release very high-energy ordinary particles or directly
produce very high-energy cosmic-ray events with unambiguous signatures
in very large detectors. We discuss these phenomena, as well as the
cosmic-ray energy range (well below the energy scale associated to the
fundamental length) and experiments where they could be detected and studied.