Varying alpha in a more realistic universe
Abstract
We study the spacetime evolution of the fine structure constant, α, inside evolving spherical overdensities in a lambdaCDM Friedmann universe using the spherical infall model. We show that its value inside virialised regions will be significantly larger than in the lowdensity background universe. The consideration of the inhomogeneous evolution of the universe is therefore essential for a correct comparison of extragalactic and solar system limits on, and observations of, possible time variation in α and other constants. Time variation in α in the cosmological background can give rise to no locally observable variations inside virialised overdensities like the one in which we live, explaining the discrepancy between astrophysical and geochemical observations.
 Publication:

Physics Letters B
 Pub Date:
 February 2004
 DOI:
 10.1016/j.physletb.2003.12.016
 arXiv:
 arXiv:astroph/0306047
 Bibcode:
 2004PhLB..581..141M
 Keywords:

 98.80.k;
 06.20.Jr;
 Cosmology;
 Determination of fundamental constants;
 Astrophysics;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
 High Energy Physics  Phenomenology;
 High Energy Physics  Theory
 EPrint:
 5 pages, 5 figures. An extra section added describing the spherical collapse model. References added. Accepted for publication in Phys. Lett. B