Albert Einstein revolutionized the world of science more than a century ago when he published his Theory of General Relativity after many years of study and using obsolete scientific tools. The theory explains by using the beauty of mathematics how mass and energy can interact with spacetime and how gravity works.
Einstein’s iconic theory has been proved right many times, but it’s even more wonderful when it happens without the full need for human experiments. The same applies for the Gamma Ray Burst detected in 2019 by MAGIC telescopes. Located in Spain, MAGIC is a system composed of two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. More precisely, they are situated at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the Canary Islands, at about 2200 m above sea level.
Speed of light being constant in vacuum confirms Einstein’s theory
The Gamma Ray Burst (GRBs) detected last year allowed scientists to analyze it and conclude once again that Einstein was right. They observed that the speed of light is constant in vacuum and not dependent on energy, which confirms the Theory of General Relativity.
Some physicists were suspecting that the speed of light might be dependent on energy due to quantum gravity theories. This hypothetical phenomenon is known as Lorentz invariance violation (LIV). One of the few ways of studying its effects is by using signals belonging to gamma rays.
Tomislav Terzić from the University of Rijeka, declared:
No LIV study was ever performed on GRB data in the TeV energy range, simply because there was no such data up to now. For over twenty years we were anticipating that such observation could increase the sensitivity to the LIV effects, but we couldn’t tell by how much until seeing the final results of our analysis. It was a very exciting period.
Cedric Perennes, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Padova, declared:
We were all very happy and feel privileged to be in the position to perform the first study on Lorentz invariance violation ever on GRB data in TeV energy range, and to crack the door open for future studies!
The new study was published in Physical Review Letters.