Beyond the Standard Model - the Variation of Fundamental Constants in Space-Time
25 January 2017
NSCL Lecture Hall 1200
Centre for Theoretical Chemistry and Physics, The New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, Massey University Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Fundamental constants like the speed of light c, the Planck constant h or the gravitational constant G play defining roles in physics and chemistry. Modern theories attempting to unify all four fundamental forces of nature suggest that all fundamental constants may vary in space and time. A small deviation from these constants would result in a completely different universe not able to sustain life. The search for small variations currently constitutes one of the most exciting areas of modern physics as it goes beyond the standard model in particle physics. In fact, this area of research is motivated by new theories unifying gravity with the other three fundamental interactions, as well as by a number of cosmological models. From atomic clock experiments we already know that the variation of the fine structure constant ^a/aï¡ is less than ~10-17 per year, and the variation in the electron to proton mass ratio ^m/m(m=me/mp) is similarly small with less than ~10-15 per year. Quasar and Big Bang nucleosynthesis data gave hints for non-zero variations, which, however, have not been confirmed yet. For further progress in this area it is important to find enhanced effects in atoms or molecules for the variation of fundamental constants. Our research group, in close collaboration with V. V. Flambaum (Sydney) and many others, currently searches for best candidates to measure variations of fundamental constants in future high-precision laboratory experiments.
Weak anthropic principle (WAP) (Brendon Carter): âWe must be prepared to take account of the fact that our location in the universe is necessarily privileged to the extent of being compatible with our existence as observers.â