Limits on the dependence of the fine-structure constant on gravitational potential from white-dwarf spectra

J. C. Berengut, V. V. Flambaum, A. Ong, J. K. Webb, John D. Barrow, M. A. Barstow, S. P. Preval, J. B. Holberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a new probe of the dependence of the fine-structure constant α on a strong gravitational field using metal lines in the spectra of white-dwarf stars. Comparison of laboratory spectra with far-UV astronomical spectra from the white-dwarf star G191-B2B recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph gives limits of Δα/α=(4. 2±1.6)×10-5 and (-6.1±5.8)×10-5 from FeV and NiV spectra, respectively, at a dimensionless gravitational potential relative to Earth of Δp≈5×10-5. With better determinations of the laboratory wavelengths of the lines employed these results could be improved by up to 2 orders of magnitude.

LanguageEnglish
Article number010801
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume111
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2013

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gravitational fields
fine structure
white dwarf stars
Hubble Space Telescope
spectrographs
probes
wavelengths
metals

Keywords

  • fine structure constants
  • gravitational potential
  • Hubble space telescopes
  • imaging spectograph
  • metal line
  • orders of magnitude
  • strong gravitational fields
  • gravitation
  • stars

Cite this

Berengut, J. C., Flambaum, V. V., Ong, A., Webb, J. K., Barrow, J. D., Barstow, M. A., ... Holberg, J. B. (2013). Limits on the dependence of the fine-structure constant on gravitational potential from white-dwarf spectra. Physical Review Letters, 111(1), [010801]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.010801
Berengut, J. C. ; Flambaum, V. V. ; Ong, A. ; Webb, J. K. ; Barrow, John D. ; Barstow, M. A. ; Preval, S. P. ; Holberg, J. B. / Limits on the dependence of the fine-structure constant on gravitational potential from white-dwarf spectra. In: Physical Review Letters. 2013 ; Vol. 111, No. 1.
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Berengut, JC, Flambaum, VV, Ong, A, Webb, JK, Barrow, JD, Barstow, MA, Preval, SP & Holberg, JB 2013, 'Limits on the dependence of the fine-structure constant on gravitational potential from white-dwarf spectra' Physical Review Letters, vol. 111, no. 1, 010801. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.010801

Limits on the dependence of the fine-structure constant on gravitational potential from white-dwarf spectra. / Berengut, J. C.; Flambaum, V. V.; Ong, A.; Webb, J. K.; Barrow, John D.; Barstow, M. A.; Preval, S. P.; Holberg, J. B.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 111, No. 1, 010801, 03.07.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Berengut, J. C.

AU - Flambaum, V. V.

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AU - Webb, J. K.

AU - Barrow, John D.

AU - Barstow, M. A.

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