Open Questions: Fundamental Constants

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Introduction

The fine structure constant


Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books

Introduction



Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes


Sites with general resources

Chris Churchill's Fine Structure Constant Page
Information on the Quasar Absorption Line Fine Structure Experiment, which indicates possible changes in the fine structure consant over time.
Fundamental Physical Constants from NIST
Offers general information on physical constants, including best known values, a bibliography, and background information.
Fundamental Physical Constants
Short, single-page list of important constants and their values.


Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Fundamental physical constant
Article from Wikipedia. See also Fine-structure constant.
Are the fundamental constants of nature really constant?
Brief but informative overview, with references, by Tamara Davis.
What is the fine-structure constant?
Brief answer from Ask the Experts at Physlink.com.
How Many Fundamental Constants Are There?
Informative June 2002 article by John Baez.
Variable Fundamental Constants?
Research of Michael T. Murphy on quasar absorption lines and the fine structure constant.
Are the laws of nature changing with time?
April 2003 article from Physics World, by John Webb. "Precise measurements on the light from distant quasars suggest that the value of the fine-structure constant may have changed over the history of the universe. If confirmed, the results will be of enormous significance for the foundations of physics."
Life, the cosmos and everything
October 2001 article from Physics World, by Bernard Carr concerning a conference dealing with the anthropic principle, multiverse cosmologies, the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, fundamental constants, quantum cosmology, and even more exotic theories.
When constants are not constant
Abstract of an October 2001 article from Physics World, by Chris L. Carilli on recent claims that the fine structure constant may have changed with time.
Theory, experiment and fine structure
July 2000 article from Physics World, by Jonathan Sapirstein about measurement of the fine structure constant.
Inconstant Constants
Brief November 1998 article from Scientific American on experimental results which suggest that the fine structure constant isn't entirely constant.


Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Constant Changes
Peter Weiss
Science News, October 6, 2001, pp. 222-223
There is now evidence that the fine structure constant may have differed in the universe of 12 billion years ago from its current value, but by an amount less than 1 part in 100,000.


Recommended references: Books


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