Do the constants of nature couple to strong gravitational fields?

S. P. Preval, M. A. Barstow, J. B. Holberg, J. D. Barrow, J. C. Berengut, J. K. Webb, D. Dougan, J. Hu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

Abstract

Recently, white dwarf stars have found a new use in the fundamental physics community. Many prospective theories of the fundamental interactions of Nature allow traditional constants, like the fine structure constant α, to vary in some way. A study by Berengut et al. (2013) used the Fe/Ni v line measurements made by Preval et al. (2013) from the hot DA white dwarf G191-B2B, in an attempt to detect any variation in α. It was found that the Fe v lines indicated an increasing alpha, whereas the Ni v lines indicated a decreasing alpha. Possible explanations for this could be misidenti- fication of the lines, inaccurate atomic data, or wavelength dependent distortion in the spectrum. We examine the first two cases by using a high S/N reference spectrum from the hot sdO BD+28◦4211 to calibrate the Fe/Ni v atomic data. With this new data, we re-evaluate the work of Berengut et al. (2013) to derive a new constraint on the variation of alpha in a gravitational field.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publication19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
EditorsP. Dufour, P. Bergeron, G. Fontaine
Place of PublicationSan Francisco
Pages415-418
Number of pages4
Volume493
ISBN (Electronic)9781583818718
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2015
Event19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs - Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
Duration: 11 Aug 201415 Aug 2016

Publication series

NameAstronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume493

Conference

Conference19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
CountryCanada
CityMontréal
Period11/08/1415/08/16

Fingerprint

gravitational fields
white dwarf stars
fine structure
physics
wavelengths
interactions

Keywords

  • white dwarf
  • stars
  • interactions
  • gravitational fields
  • atomic data
  • absorption
  • ionisation

Cite this

Preval, S. P., Barstow, M. A., Holberg, J. B., Barrow, J. D., Berengut, J. C., Webb, J. K., ... Hu, J. (2015). Do the constants of nature couple to strong gravitational fields? In P. Dufour, P. Bergeron, & G. Fontaine (Eds.), 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs (Vol. 493, pp. 415-418). (Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series; Vol. 493). San Francisco.
Preval, S. P. ; Barstow, M. A. ; Holberg, J. B. ; Barrow, J. D. ; Berengut, J. C. ; Webb, J. K. ; Dougan, D. ; Hu, J. / Do the constants of nature couple to strong gravitational fields?. 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs. editor / P. Dufour ; P. Bergeron ; G. Fontaine. Vol. 493 San Francisco, 2015. pp. 415-418 (Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series).
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Preval, SP, Barstow, MA, Holberg, JB, Barrow, JD, Berengut, JC, Webb, JK, Dougan, D & Hu, J 2015, Do the constants of nature couple to strong gravitational fields? in P Dufour, P Bergeron & G Fontaine (eds), 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs. vol. 493, Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series, vol. 493, San Francisco, pp. 415-418, 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs, Montréal, Canada, 11/08/14.

Do the constants of nature couple to strong gravitational fields? / Preval, S. P.; Barstow, M. A.; Holberg, J. B.; Barrow, J. D.; Berengut, J. C.; Webb, J. K.; Dougan, D.; Hu, J.

19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs. ed. / P. Dufour; P. Bergeron; G. Fontaine. Vol. 493 San Francisco, 2015. p. 415-418 (Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series; Vol. 493).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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T1 - Do the constants of nature couple to strong gravitational fields?

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AU - Barstow, M. A.

AU - Holberg, J. B.

AU - Barrow, J. D.

AU - Berengut, J. C.

AU - Webb, J. K.

AU - Dougan, D.

AU - Hu, J.

PY - 2015/6/30

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N2 - Recently, white dwarf stars have found a new use in the fundamental physics community. Many prospective theories of the fundamental interactions of Nature allow traditional constants, like the fine structure constant α, to vary in some way. A study by Berengut et al. (2013) used the Fe/Ni v line measurements made by Preval et al. (2013) from the hot DA white dwarf G191-B2B, in an attempt to detect any variation in α. It was found that the Fe v lines indicated an increasing alpha, whereas the Ni v lines indicated a decreasing alpha. Possible explanations for this could be misidenti- fication of the lines, inaccurate atomic data, or wavelength dependent distortion in the spectrum. We examine the first two cases by using a high S/N reference spectrum from the hot sdO BD+28◦4211 to calibrate the Fe/Ni v atomic data. With this new data, we re-evaluate the work of Berengut et al. (2013) to derive a new constraint on the variation of alpha in a gravitational field.

AB - Recently, white dwarf stars have found a new use in the fundamental physics community. Many prospective theories of the fundamental interactions of Nature allow traditional constants, like the fine structure constant α, to vary in some way. A study by Berengut et al. (2013) used the Fe/Ni v line measurements made by Preval et al. (2013) from the hot DA white dwarf G191-B2B, in an attempt to detect any variation in α. It was found that the Fe v lines indicated an increasing alpha, whereas the Ni v lines indicated a decreasing alpha. Possible explanations for this could be misidenti- fication of the lines, inaccurate atomic data, or wavelength dependent distortion in the spectrum. We examine the first two cases by using a high S/N reference spectrum from the hot sdO BD+28◦4211 to calibrate the Fe/Ni v atomic data. With this new data, we re-evaluate the work of Berengut et al. (2013) to derive a new constraint on the variation of alpha in a gravitational field.

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KW - interactions

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KW - atomic data

KW - absorption

KW - ionisation

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BT - 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs

A2 - Dufour, P.

A2 - Bergeron, P.

A2 - Fontaine, G.

CY - San Francisco

ER -

Preval SP, Barstow MA, Holberg JB, Barrow JD, Berengut JC, Webb JK et al. Do the constants of nature couple to strong gravitational fields? In Dufour P, Bergeron P, Fontaine G, editors, 19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs. Vol. 493. San Francisco. 2015. p. 415-418. (Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series).