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.
|Title of host publication||19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs|
|Editors||P. Dufour, P. Bergeron, G. Fontaine|
|Place of Publication||San Francisco|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Jun 2015|
|Event||19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs - Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada|
Duration: 11 Aug 2014 → 15 Aug 2016
|Name||Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series|
|Publisher||Astronomical Society of the Pacific|
|Conference||19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs|
|Period||11/08/14 → 15/08/16|
- white dwarf
- gravitational fields
- atomic data
Preval, S. P., Barstow, M. A., Holberg, J. B., Barrow, J. D., Berengut, J. C., Webb, J. K., 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, pp. 415-418). (Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series; Vol. 493)..