Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Nov 4;107(19):191101. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Indications of a spatial variation of the fine structure constant.

Author information

1
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales 2052, Australia.

Abstract

We previously reported Keck telescope observations suggesting a smaller value of the fine structure constant α at high redshift. New Very Large Telescope (VLT) data, probing a different direction in the Universe, shows an inverse evolution; α increases at high redshift. Although the pattern could be due to as yet undetected systematic effects, with the systematics as presently understood the combined data set fits a spatial dipole, significant at the 4.2 σ level, in the direction right ascension 17.5 ± 0.9 h, declination -58 ± 9 deg. The independent VLT and Keck samples give consistent dipole directions and amplitudes, as do high and low redshift samples. A search for systematics, using observations duplicated at both telescopes, reveals none so far which emulate this result.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Physical Society
Loading ...
Support Center