Constants and Variations: From Alpha to Omega

  • John D. Barrow


We review some of the history and properties of theories for the variation of the gravitation and fine structure ‘constants’. We highlight some general features of the cosmological models that exist in these theories with reference to recent quasar data that is consistent with time-variation in alpha since a redshift of 3.5. The behaviour of a simple class of varying-alpha cosmologies is outlined in the light of all the observational constraints. We discuss the key role played by non-zero vacuum energy and curvature in turning off the variation of constants in these theories and the issue of comparing extra-galactic and local observational data. We also show why black hole thermodynamics does not enable us to distinguish between time variations of different constants.


Black Hole Dark Matter Cosmological Constant Black Hole Solution Black Hole Thermodynamic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Barrow
    • 1
  1. 1.DAMTP, Centre for Mathematical SciencesCambridge UniversityCambridgeUK

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