Testing cosmological variability of fundamental constants

Varshalovich, D. A.; Potekhin, A. Y.; Ivanchik, A. V.
February 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 506 Issue 1, p503
Academic Journal
One of the topical problems of contemporary physics is a possible variability of the fundamental constants. Here we consider possible variability of two dimensionless constants which are most important for calculation of atomic and molecular spectra (in particular, the X-ray ones): the fine-structure constant α=e[sup 2]/hc and the proton-to-electron mass ratio μ=m[sub p]/m[sub e]. Values of the physical constants in the early epochs are estimated directly from observations of quasars—the most powerful sources of radiation, whose spectra were formed when the Universe was several times younger than now. A critical analysis of the available results leads to the conclusion that the present-day data do not reveal any statistically significant evidence for variations of the fundamental constants under study. The most reliable upper limits to possible variation rates at the 95% confidence level, obtained in our work, read: [DFORMULA]|α./α|<1.4×10[sup -14] yr[sup -1], |μ./μ|<1.5×10[sup -14] yr[sup -][/DFORMULA] on the average over the last 1010 yr. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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