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'[EE]: ON THE CONSTANCY OF THE SPEED OF LIGHT'
2002\08\29@091333 by Russell McMahon

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>> Recent scientific studies suggest that the speed of light appears to have
>> been falling for a considerable period. The implications for scientific
>> knowledge as it is presently held are severe.

> Re: reference(s) please.......

Here is a good collection of papers on the subject.

       http://www.ldolphin.org/constc.shtml

Note that the site compiler and some, but not very probably not all, of the
papers' authors have strong Christian beliefs and may well be considered to
have vested interests in the results. However, beware letting other strong
"religious dogmas" get in the way of an objective investigation of this
interesting subject.

Here's a site that argues against the variation of nature's constants. As it
is a 1998 page they don't deal with the latest quantised intergalactic light
arguments.

       http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/constant_evidence.html


Googling on [decreasing "speed of light"] gives 9600+ hits.

Happy reading - if you have the time :-)
(I don't alas).

     Russell McMahon

___________________

From the 1st site:

Summary: Is the velocity of light a fixed constant of nature, invariant over
time? This page presents the available measurements of c and several
statistical studies which suggest that c has decreased in the past 300
years. What other "constants" of physics might prove to be non-fixed? How
would a non-constant c affect physical laws? Possible consequences for
cosmology and the age of the universe. Responses and comments are solicited.

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2002\08\30@014023 by Peter Crowcroft

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>> Recent scientific studies suggest that the speed of light appears to have
>> been falling for a considerable period. The implications for scientific
>> knowledge as it is presently held are severe.
> Re: reference(s) please.......
>Here is a good collection of papers on the subject.
>
>http://www.ldolphin.org/constc.shtml
>
>Note that the site compiler and some, but not very probably not all, of the
>papers' authors have strong Christian beliefs and may well be considered to

These are all Creation Science (sic) / Religious nutter websites and I
venture to suggest they have no place being proposed as 'scientific
studies' on this List. And what does the speed of light have to do with
PICs in any case?



regards,

Peter Crowcroft
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2002\08\30@024410 by Jinx

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> And what does the speed of light have to do with PICs

Takes a little bit longer to see where you left them. And I'm
a busy guy

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2002\08\30@060646 by Russell McMahon

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>  >Note that the site compiler and some, but not very probably not all, of
the
>  >papers' authors have strong Christian beliefs and may well be considered
to ...

> These are all Creation Science (sic) / Religious nutter websites and I
> venture to suggest they have no place being proposed as 'scientific
> studies' on this List.

Haven't looked at them all. Some obviously are what you expect them to be.
Very surprised to hear that ALL are.

Their source aside; do you have problems with their methodology or analysis
of the available data?

However, I have some good "hard Science",
sure-not-to-offend-one's-religious-sensibility references which I'll write
up and post shortly. These deal with the quasar / quantised light
observations that I mentioned in passing.

IF these numerous but delicate and well studied and analysed observations
turn out to be for real then expect the WHOLE of Physics as we know it to
have its foundations removed in due course (not to mention the
infrastructure). Jury may be in by year's end I hear.

> And what does the speed of light have to do with
> PICs in any case?

Quite a lot, although not of immensely practical application.
Note that the tag was (and is) [EE]: which seemed to be appropriate.
I thought about using [OT]: but [EE]: seemed better.
IF the speed of light is varying or has been varying it has major EE
implications, although none that will immediately change how we think of
PICS (however that may be)..

Note that the yet to be referenced quasar measurements deal with the fine
structure "constant" Alpha.

Alpha = 2 x Pi x e^2 /c / h

   e = electron charge
   c = (prepare for jump to) light speed
   h = Planck's constant (he hopes)(or would were he alive)
   Pi = you know
   2 = just some guy, you know.

Which one (if not several) of these "constants" do you think is varying if
anything is ?
Me - I plump for Pi, with 2 as a close second guess :-)
Would arguably cause less hair tearing in the scientific community than e, c
or h :-)



       RM

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2002\08\30@081333 by Russell McMahon

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        THE SKY IS (PROBABLY) FALLING

                                                   Chicken Little

> These are all Creation Science (sic) / Religious nutter websites

So -

   **** CERTIFIED CREATION SCIENCE FREE  ****
   **** REFERENCES FOLLOW                           ****

                (Religious beliefs of individual Scientists involved
                (are unknown and not inquired after :-)

                           All good solid science :-)

NB: This link makes interesting reading if you don't
want to wade through all the following stuff.
       www.astro.psu.edu/users/cwc/fsc/index.html#brief
(at Penn State's Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics)

_______________

Core info:

1    "An international team of astronomers has found evidence that one of
the fundamental constants that describes the physical world is not constant
at all, but has been increasing over the billions of years since the Big
Bang".
                                   Nature

2    IF found to be true, this discovery will completely destroy all current
cosmological models, stand particle physics on its head  and force the
re-examination of much of our understanding of atomic structure (and life,
the universe and everything). The implications for many fields of science
are vast. The effect on day to day life should be truly minimal :-)

Me
____________________________

Essentially, the fine structure "constant" Alpha gives signs of being
non-constant . As Alpha is the ratio of several fundamental constants it
implies that one or more of these has also been changing. Alpha is
implicated in approximately 102% of our understanding of cosmology.

   Alpha = 2 x Pi x e^2 / (h x c)

   e = electron charge
   h = Planck's constant
   c = speed of light
   Pi = now THAT would be an interesting change
   2 = And THAT even more so :-)
__________________

One of the many "nice" results of alpha falling even ever so slightly (1
part in 10,000) is that it would mean that the Higg's Boson does not exist.
The Higg's Boson is the current Holy Grail of particle researchers searches.
It is predicted to exist within a certain energy range and so far the
majority of the range that it should exist in if it does exist at all has
been searched by current particle accelerators to no avail. The remaining
energy range will be explored by accelerators currently under construction
or planning. BUT if alpha has done as alpha appears to have done then the
energy range for the Higg's Boson  is already below our existing upper
search range and it has not been found and so (almost certainly) does not
exist. This alone does nasty things to the current particle physics and
cosmological models (M theory and others).

Another result is that expansion of the early universe would have happened
"ridiculously fast" (hence the interest of the otherwise non-here-mentioned
CS people) BUT this helps explain certain energy symmetries which we observe
in the "real" Universe which are currently inexplicable by any theory we
have been able to dream up if the speed of light has always been the same
value.

It's sobering (I hope) that our apparent understanding of the universe falls
apart so thoroughly if ONE of its constants is found to have changed by one
part is 10,000.


___________________________________________________

           *************************************
           ****                                                    ****
           **** This is the best overall reference.  ****
           ****                                                    ****
           *************************************

Some following are simpler or more complex or delve into the implications.


THE QUASAR ABSORPTION LINE
FINE STRUCTURE EXPERIMENT

Here is a good (no, I'll say EXCELLENT) if not layman level, then relatively
simply and clearly written explanation (with pretty graphs to boot).

Also has a number of good references.

Here's their simple overview

       http://www.astro.psu.edu/users/cwc/fsc/index.html#brief

And their top level page is at

     http://www.astro.psu.edu/users/cwc/fsc.html

Provenance:

Based upon the Physical Review Letter entitled
"Further Evidence for Cosmological Evolution of the Fine Structure Constant"
J.K. Webb (1), M.T. Murphy (1), V.V. Flambaum (1), V.A. Dzuba (1),
J.D. Barrow (2), C.W. Churchill (3), J.X. Prochaska (4), A.M. Wolfe (5)
(1) University of New South Wales, (2) Cambridge University
(3) The Pennsylvania State University, (4) The Carnegie Observatories,
(5) University of California, San Deigo

This work funded in part by NASA [[Can't be helped :-) ]],
National Science Foundation, John Templeton Foundation
_________________________________________________

Space.com article.
Populist but reasonable cover.


<www.space.com/scienceastronomy/generalscience/constant_changing_0108
15.html>
_________________________________________________

Nature

       http://www.nature.com/nsu/010816/010816-8.html

Note the interesting one they word things in order to avoid saying "may" or
"possibly"
_________________________________________________

Physics News Update
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News

       http://www.aip.org/enews/physnews/1999/split/pnu410-1.htm

Number 410 (Story #1), January 13, 1999 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein
_________________________________________________




The next 3 papers are from ARXIV.ORG

       http://www.arxiv.org

"This archive is based upon activities supported by the U.S. National
Science Foundation under Agreement No. 0132355 (7/01-6/04) with Cornell
University."

Full text copies of papers cited are available at the below urls.
___________________________________________________

The Cosmological Evolution of the Nucleon Mass and the Electroweak Coupling
Constants
Authors: Xavier Calmet, Harald Fritzsch
Report-no: CERN-TH/2001-334, LMU 01/15
Journal-ref: Eur.Phys.J. C24 (2002) 639-642

       http://www.arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0112110

Starting from astrophysical indications that the fine structure constant
might undergo a small cosmological time shift, we discuss the implications
of such an effect from the point of view of particle physics. Grand
unification implies small time shifts for the nucleon mass, the magnetic
moment of the nucleon and the weak coupling constant as well. The relative
change of the nucleon mass is about 40 times larger than the relative change
of alpha. Laboratory measurements using very advanced methods in quantum
optics might soon reveal small time shifts of the nucleon mass, the magnetic
moment of the nucleon and the fine structure constant.
Full-text: PostScript, PDF, or

___________________________________________________

Time-Varying alpha and Particle Physics
Authors: T. Banks (Rutgers and UCSC), M. Dine (UCSC), M. R. Douglas (Rutgers
and IHES)
Comments: 7 pages, latex, JHEP.cls
Journal-ref: Phys.Rev.Lett. 88 (2002) 131301

       http://www.arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0112059

We argue that models in which an observable variation of the fine structure
constant is explained by motion of a cosmic scalar field, are not stable
under renormalization, and require massive fine tuning that cannot be
explained by any known mechanism.
___________________________________________________

Implications of Gauge Unification for Time Variation of the Fine Structure
Constant
Authors: Paul Langacker, Gino Segre, Matthew J. Strassler
Comments: 13 pages, uses JHEP.cls
Report-no: UPR-0973-T
Journal-ref: Phys.Lett. B528 (2002) 121-128

       http://www.arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0112233

Unification of the gauge couplings would imply that time variations of the
fine structure constant are accompanied by calculable and very significant
time variations in the QCD scale parameter $\Lambda_{QCD}$. Since
$\Lambda_{QCD}$ is the dominant factor in setting the hadron masses,
estimates made by simple variations of the fine structure constant may not
provide meaningful limits. There may also be related variations in Yukawa
couplings and the electroweak scale. Implications for the 21 cm hyperfine
transition, big bang nucleosynthesis, and the triple alpha process are
discussed. We find that the first of these already provides strong
constraints on the underlying theory. It is emphasised more generally that
time (and space) variations of fundamental couplings and their correlations
may be a significant probe of ultra-high-energy physics.
___________________________________________________

> These are all Creation Science (sic) / Religious nutter websites and I
> venture to suggest they have no place being proposed as 'scientific
> studies' on this List.

Hopefully the above will redress that concern.




           Russell

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