Scientists of the Pierre Auger Collaboration announced today (8 Nov. 2007) that active galactic nuclei are the most likely candidate for the source of the highest-energy cosmic rays that hit Earth. Using the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina, the largest cosmic-ray observatory in the world, a team of scientists from 17 countries found that the sources of the highest-energy particles are not distributed uniformly across the sky. Instead, the Auger results link the origins of these mysterious particles to the locations of nearby galaxies that have active nuclei in their centers. The results appear in the Nov. 9 issue of the journal Science.About million cosmic ray events have been recorded and 80 of them correspond to particles with energy above the so called GKZ bound, which is .54 × 1011 GeV. Electromagnetically interacting particles with these energies from distant galaxies should not be able to reach Earth. This would be due to the scattering from the photons of the microwave background. About 20 particles of this kind however comes from the direction of distant active galactic nuclei and the probability that this is an accident is about 1 per cent. Particles having only strong interactions would be in question. The problem is that this kind of particles are not predicted by the standard model (gluons are confined).
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are thought to be powered by supermassive black holes that are devouring large amounts of matter. They have long been considered sites where high-energy particle production might take place. They swallow gas, dust and other matter from their host galaxies and spew out particles and energy. While most galaxies have black holes at their center, only a fraction of all galaxies have an AGN. The exact mechanism of how AGNs can accelerate particles to energies 100 million times higher than the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth is still a mystery.
1. What does TGD say about the finding?
TGD provides an explanation for the new kind of particles.
- The original TGD based model for the galactic nucleus is as a highly tangled cosmic string (in TGD sense of course, see this). Much later it became clear that also TGD based model for black-hole is as this kind of string like object near Hagedorn temperature (see this and this). Ultrahigh energy particles could result as decay products of a decaying split cosmic string as an extremely energetic galactic jet. Kind of cosmic fire cracker would be in question. Originally I proposed this decay as an explanation for the gamma ray bursts. It seems that gamma ray bursts however come from thickened cosmic strings having weaker magnetic field and much lower energy density (see this).
- TGD predicts particles having only strong interactions (see this). I have christened these particles super-canonical quanta. These particles correspond to the vibrational degrees of freedom of partonic 2-surface and are not visible at the quantum field theory limit for which partonic 2-surfaces become points.
Super-canonical quanta are created by the elements of super-canonical algebra, which creates quantum states besides the super Kac-Moody algebra present also in super string model. Both algebras relate closely to the conformal invariance of light-like 3-surfaces.
- The elements of super-canonical algebra are in one-one correspondence with the Hamiltonians generating symplectic transformations of δM4+× CP2. Note that the 3-D light-cone boundary is metrically 2-dimensional and possesses degenerate symplectic and Kähler structures so that one can indeed speak about symplectic (canonical) transformations.
- This algebra is the analog of Kac-Moody algebra with finite-dimensional Lie group replaced with the infinite-dimensional group of symplectic transformations (see this). This should give an idea about how gigantic a symmetry is in question. This is as it should be since these symmetries act as the largest possible symmetry group for the Kähler geometry of the world of classical worlds (WCW) consisting of light-like 3-surfaces in 8-D imbedding space for given values of zero modes (labelling the spaces in the union of infinite-dimensional symmetric spaces). This implies that for the given values of zero modes all points of WCW are metrically equivalent: a generalization of the perfect cosmological principle making theory calculable and guaranteing that WCW metric exists mathematically. Super-canonical generators correspond to gamma matrices of WCW and have the quantum numbers of right handed neutrino (no electro-weak interactions). Note that a geometrization of fermionic statistics is achieved.
- The Hamiltonians and super-Hamiltonians have only color and angular momentum quantum numbers and no electro-weak quantum numbers so that electro-weak interactions are absent. Super-canonical quanta however interact strongly.
3. Also hadrons contain super-canonical quanta
One can say that TGD based model for hadron is at space-time level kind of combination of QCD and old fashioned string model forgotten when QCD came in fashion and then transformed to the highly unsuccessful but equally fashionable theory of everything.
- At quantum level the energy corresponding to string tension explaining about 70 per cent of proton mass corresponds to super-canonical quanta (see this). Supercanonical quanta allow to understand hadron masses with a precision better than 1 per cent.
- Super-canonical degrees of freedom allow also to solve spin puzzle of the proton: the average quark spin would be zero since same net angular momentum of hadron can be obtained by coupling quarks of opposite spin with angular momentum eigen states with different projection to the direction of quantization axis.
- If one considers proton without valence quarks and gluons, one obtains a boson with mass very nearly equal to that of proton (for proton super-canonical binding energy compensates quark masses with high precision). These kind of pseudo protons might be created in high energy collisions when the space-time sheets carrying valence quarks and super-canonical space-time sheet separate from each other. Super-canonical quanta might be produced in accelerators in this manner and there is actually experimental support for this from Hera (see this).
- The exotic particles could correspond to some p-adic copy of hadron physics predicted by TGD and have very large mass smaller however than the energy. Mersenne primes Mn= 2n-1 define excellent candidates for these copies. Ordinary hadrons correspond to M107. The protons of M31 hadron physics would have the mass of proton scaled up by a factor 2(107-31)/2=238≈ 2.6×1011. Energy should be above 2.6 × 1011 GeV and is above .54 × 1011 GeV for the particles above the GKZ limit. Even super-canonical quanta associated with proton of this kind could be in question. Note that CP2 mass corresponds roughly to about 1014 proton masses.
- Ideal blackholes would be very long highly tangled string like objects, scaled up hadrons, containing only super-canonical quanta. Hence it would not be surprising if they would emit super-canonical quanta. The transformation of supernovas to neutron stars and possibly blackholes would involve the fusion of hadronic strings to longer strings and eventual annihilation and evaporation of the ordinary matter so that only super-canonical matter would remain eventually. A wide variety of intermediate states with different values of string tension would be possible and the ultimate blackhole would correspond to highly tangled cosmic string. Dark matter would be in question in the sense that Planck constant could be very large.