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On the stability of fundamental couplings in the Galaxy

S. M. Joćo, C. J. A. P. Martins, I. S. A. B. Mota, P. M. T. Vianez

Abstract
Astrophysical tests of the stability of Nature's fundamental couplings are a key probe of the standard paradigms in fundamental physics and cosmology. In this report we discuss updated constraints on the stability of the fine-structure constant α   and the proton-to-electron mass ratio μ=mp/me within the Galaxy. We revisit and improve upon the analysis by Truppe et al. [1] by allowing for the possibility of simultaneous variations of both couplings and also by combining them with the recent measurements by Levshakov et al. [2]. By considering representative unification scenarios we find no evidence for variations of α at the 0.4 ppm level, and of μ at the 0.6 ppm level; if one uses the [2] bound on μ as a prior, the α bound is improved to 0.1 ppm. We also highlight how these measurements can constrain (and discriminate among) several fundamental physics paradigms.

Keywords
Astrophysical observation, Fundamental couplings, Unification scenarios

Physics Letters B
Volume 749, Page 389
2015 October

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Instituto de AstrofĆ­sica e CiĆŖncias do EspaƧo Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
FundaĆ§Ć£o para a CiĆŖncia e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 UniĆ£o Europeia