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A possible quantum gravity observation. Cosmic rays from Planck stars: black holes decay via tunneling.



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PIRSA Number: 
16070003

Abstract

The possibility of observing quantum gravitational phenomena, viewed as remote until not long ago, is increasingly considered to be plausible. A potentially observable phenomenon is the decay of black holes via a quantum gravitational tunneling akin to standard nuclear decay. Loop quantum gravity can be used to compute the corresponding lifetime. This could be much shorter than the Hawking radiation time, rendering the effect astrophysically relevant. Preliminary estimates indicate that centimeter-size primordial black holes should be exploding today and predict impulsive high energy as well as microwave signals tantalizing similar to the Fast Radio Bursts recently observed by the Areceibo and Parkes radio telescopes. The predicted signal has a characteristic distance/frequency relation which will allow to test the Planck star hypotheses in the near future.