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Fine-structure constant constraints on dark energy

C. J. A. P. Martins, A. M. M. Pinho

We use astrophysical and atomic clock tests of the stability of the fine-structure constant α , together with type Ia supernova and Hubble parameter data, to constrain the simplest class of dynamical dark energy models where the same degree of freedom is assumed to provide both the dark energy and (through a dimensionless coupling ζ to the electromagnetic sector) the α variation. We show how current data tightly constrain a combination of ζ and the dark energy equation of state w0 . At the 95% confidence level and marginalizing over w0 we find |ζ|<5×106 , with the atomic clock tests dominating the constraints. The forthcoming generation of high-resolution ultrastable spectrographs will enable significantly tighter constraints.

Observational cosmology, Modified theories of gravity, Determination of fundamental constants, Dark energy

Physical Review D
Volume 91, Issue 10
2015 May

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia