April 11, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Variable Constants Dept.

Is nothing sacred?  EurekAlert reported that the fine structure constant alpha may have changed from its once-thought invariable value, based on new observations from the Keck telescope.  “Sacred constant might be changing,” it says.
    Another study, by contrast, shows no change in the fine structure constant, according to a press release from UC Berkeley.

Too early for any conclusions.  The measurements are very difficult to make.  The consequences of any change, if confirmed, could be cosmic.  That might be a reason it couldn’t have changed: we wouldn’t be here wondering if it could.

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Categories: Cosmology, Physics

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