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A molecular probe of dark energy

R. I. Thompson, J. Bechtold, D. J. Eisenstein, X. Fan, D. Arnett , C. J. A. P. Martins, R. C Kennicutt, J. H. Black

Many theoretical models of dark energy invoke rolling scaler fields which in turn predict time varying values of the fundamental constants. Establishing the value of the fundamental constants at various times in the universe can probe and test the various dark energy theories. One of the constants that is predicted to vary is the ratio of the electron to proton mass μ. It was established early on that molecular spectra are sensitive to the value of μ and can be used as probes of that value. This article describes the use of the spectrum of molecular hydrogen in high redshift Damped Lyman Alpha systems (DLAs) as a sensitive probe of the time evolution of μ.

Advances in Space Research
Volume 42, Page 596
2008 August

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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