Relativistic Corrections in Atoms and Space-Time Variation of the Fine Structure Constant

  • Vladimir A. Dzuba
  • Victor V. Flambaum
  • Michael T. Murphy
  • John K. Webb
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 570)


Comparison of quasar absorption line spectra with laboratory spectra provides the best probe for variability of the fine structure constant, α = e 2/ħc, over cosmological time-scales. We have demonstrated [1] that high sensitivity to the variation of α can be obtained from a comparison of the spectra of heavy and light atoms and have obtained an order of magnitude gain in precision over previous methods [2]. Our new data [3] hint that α was smaller at earlier epochs. Careful searches have so far not revealed any spurious effect that can explain the observations.


Relativistic Correction Light Atom External Electron Atomic Frequency Structure Interval 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir A. Dzuba
    • 1
  • Victor V. Flambaum
    • 1
  • Michael T. Murphy
    • 1
  • John K. Webb
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity of New South WalesUNSW SydneyAustralia

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