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Gravitational lensing time delays as a tool for testing Lorentz Invariance Violation

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14748.x
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Despite the fact that quantum gravity theory still remains elusive, it is generally expected that it will bring the picture of a space-time foam at short distances leading to Lorenz Invariance Violation (LIV) manifested e.g. by energy dependent modification of standard relativistic dispersion relation. One direction of research, pursued intensively is to measure energy dependent time of arrival delays in photons emitted by astrophysical sources located at cosmological distances. This is tempered however by our ignorance of either intrinsic delay (at source frame) in different energy channels or as recently shown, the correct model of the background cosmology. In this paper we propose a new test based on gravitational lensing. Monitoring time delays between images performed in different energy channels (e.g. optical - low energy and TeV photons) may reveal extra delays due to distorted dispersion relation typical in LIV theories - a test which is free from the systematics inherent in other settings.

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