Seminar

Do the fundamental constants change with time

Do the Fundamental Constants change with Time ? Temporal evolution in low-energy fundamental constants such as the fine structure constant and the proton-electron mass ratio appears to be a generic prediction of field theories that attempt to unify the standard model of particle physics and general relativity. The exciting possibility of low-energy tests of such unification theories has inspired a number of methods to probe fundamental constant evolution on a range of timescales, from a few years to billions of years. Astrophysical studies of redshifted spectral lines provide a powerful probe of such putative changes in the low-energy fundamental constants across a large fraction of the age of the Universe. After briefly reviewing the state of the field, I will describe recent results from two techniques, based on radio spectral lines from the hydroxyl and methanol molecules. Finally, I will discuss present limitations of such radio studies and the improvements that are likely to be possible over the next few years.

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