This Letter describes a model-independent search for the production of new resonances in photon + jet (gamma + jet) events using 20 fb(-1) of proton-proton LHC data recorded with the ATLAS detector at a centre-of-mass energy of root s = 8 TeV. The gamma + jet mass distribution is compared to a background model fit from data; no significant deviation from the background-only hypothesis is found. Limits are set at 95% credibility level on generic Gaussian-shaped signals and two benchmark phenomena beyond the Standard Model: non-thermal quantum black holes and excited quarks. Non-thermal quantum black holes are excluded below masses of 4.6 TeV and excited quarks are excluded below masses of 3.5 TeV.
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