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Did cosmic inflation change the fine structdure constant?

  1. Jan 24, 2013 #1

    pervect

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    I saw this question (in a far removed forum), and I thought it was interesting. Do we have any theoretical reason (or observations) that would suggest that inflation change the fine structure constant.
     
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  3. Jan 24, 2013 #2

    bcrowell

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    Webb has published observational papers claiming that it's changed over cosmological time. He's full of ****. See, e.g., Rosenband et al., 2008, 319 (5871): 1808-1812, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/319/5871/1808.abstract

    J.K. Webb et al., 2000, "Further Evidence for Cosmological Evolution of the Fine Structure Constant," http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0012539v3

    J.K. Webb et al., 2010, "Evidence for spatial variation of the fine structure constant," http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.3907 ; Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 191101 (2011)
     
  4. Jan 24, 2013 #3

    Chronos

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    I agree with Ben, there is no credible evidence 'alpha' has varied over time. There is, however, an abundance of evidence it has not. Lorentz invariance is violated under any variable alpha approach, which would have profound consequences for most of modern physics.
     
  5. Jan 25, 2013 #4

    Bill_K

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    I understood pervect's question to be, not has alpha varied over cosmological time, but during the period of inflation.
     
  6. Jan 25, 2013 #5

    Garth

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    As we have no consistent theory of Inflation, and certainly have not tested it in a laboratory setting, we have no idea whether the Fine Structure Constant would be affected by it.

    Furthemore if Inflation (using a Higgs field??) affected particle masses then that would also profoundly affect physics in that epoch and the measurement of time and distance as there would be no longer fixed rulers and regular clocks.

    But again we have no idea.....

    Garth
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
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