Is there a spatial gradient in values of the fine-structure constant? A reanalysis of the results
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW, 2052 Sydney, Australia
Received: 27 March 2012
Accepted: 18 May 2012
We statistically analyse a recent sample of data points measuring the fine-structure constant α (relative to the terrestrial value) in quasar absorption systems, where a spatial gradient in α was recently reported. We find agreement with previous authors that the dipole model is a robust, well-justified fit to the data. Using a simple analysis we find that the monopole term (the constant offset in Δα/α) may be caused by non-terrestrial magnesium isotope abundances in the absorbers. Finally we test the domain-wall model against the data.
Key words: cosmology: theory / methods: statistical / large-scale structure of Universe / cosmology: miscellaneous
© ESO, 2012