Constraints on changes in fundamental constants from a cosmologically distant OH absorber or emitter

N. Kanekar*, C. L. Carilli, G. I. Langston, G. Rocha, F. Combes, R. Subrahmanyan, J. T. Stocke, K. M. Menten, F. H. Briggs, T. Wiklind

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    103 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We have detected the four 18 cm OH lines from the z∼0.765 gravitational lens toward PMN J0134-0931. The 1612 and 1720 MHz lines are in conjugate absorption and emission, providing a laboratory to test the evolution of fundamental constants over a large lookback time. We compare the HI and OH main line absorption redshifts of the different components in the z∼0.765 absorber and the z∼0.685 lens toward B0218+357 to place stringent constraints on changes in F gp[α2/μ]1.57. We obtain [ΔF/F]=(0.44±0.36stat±1.0syst)×10-5, consistent with no evolution over the redshift range 0<z 0.7. The measurements have a 2σ sensitivity of [Δα/α]<6.7×10-6 or [Δμ/μ]<1.4×10-5 to fractional changes in α and μ over a period of ∼6.5Gyr, half the age of the Universe. These are among the most sensitive constraints on changes in μ.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number261301
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Volume95
    Issue number26
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2005

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