The Oklo bound on the time variation of the finestructure constant revisited
Abstract
It has been pointed out by Shlyakhter that data from the natural fission reactors which operated about two billion years ago at Oklo (Gabon) had the potential of providing an extremely tight bound on the variability of the finestructure constant α. We revisit the derivation of such a bound by (i) reanalyzing a large selection of published rareearth data from Oklo, (ii) critically taking into account the very large uncertainty of the temperature at which the reactors operated, and (iii) connecting in a new way (using isotope shift measurements) the Okloderived constraint on a possible shift of thermal neutroncapture resonances with a bound on the time variation of α. Our final (95% C.L.) results are: 0.9 × 10 ^{7} < ( α^{Oklo}  α^{now})/ α < 1.2 × 10 ^{7} and 6.7 × 10 ^{17}yr^{1} < αdot^{averaged}/α < 5.0 × 10 ^{17}yr^{1}.
 Publication:

Nuclear Physics B
 Pub Date:
 February 1996
 DOI:
 10.1016/S05503213(96)004671
 arXiv:
 arXiv:hepph/9606486
 Bibcode:
 1996NuPhB.480...37D
 Keywords:

 High Energy Physics  Phenomenology;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 23 pages, Latex, submitted to Nucl.Phys.B