SLAC Colloquium Series

SLAC Colloquium Series


Colloquium Detail

Possible Evidence for Variations in the Fine Structure Constant

Date: 10/30/2001

Art Wolfe
Professor, UC San Diego

Analysis of 49 quasar absorption systems covering the redshift in inteval 0.5 < z < 3.5 provides statistical evidence for a smaller alpha at earlier epochs: delta alpha/alpha = (-0.72+-0.18)x10^{-5}. The constraints on alpha come from simultaneous fitting of absorption lines arising from the following species: Mg I, Mg II, Al III, Si II, Cr II, Fe II, Ni II, and Zn II. A thorough investigation for systematic effects reveals none which can explain these results. The most significant of these, if removed from the data, would make our result even more significant.

Last update: October 03, 2013