NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0256

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0256


PI: Dennis Zaritsky, University of Arizona, dzaritsky@as.arizona.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

CoI: Jian Ge, University of Florida
CoI: Scott Fleming, University of Florida

Title: Exploring Possible Variations in the Fine Structure Constant

Abstract: There are both empirical and theoretical reasons to believe that the fine structure constant, (alpha), is changing with time. The confirmation of such evolution would revolutionize our physical understanding of the universe and be strong confirmation of physics beyond the standard model. We propose a feasibility study with the ET to determine whether it can provide a significant gain in precision over classic high-resolution optical spectrographs. Our observations will measure the wavelength splitting of the [O III]4959, 5007Adoublet, which will change with redshift or position if (alpha) is varying, in narrow emission-line galaxies. Our method offers various systematic advantages when compared to methods used previously to claim a detection of varying (alpha).


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0256

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