Einstein…wrong again???

One of Einsteins statements taken as fact, is that the fundamental physical constants of the universe, most notably the speed of light, are constant throughout the universe. Another thought to be constant was “alpha” the ‘fine structure constant’ that indicates how light and mater interact. The New Scientist reports that there are indications that alpha may not be constant throughout space.

Recent musings about parallel universes has led to speculation that the “fine tuning” of fundamental physical constants was a result of there being infinite parallel universes with differing constants. We are in the “goldilocks” universe not because it was formed for us, but because we could form in it. Now it seems a new wrinkle has been thrown in as some of these “constants may not be constant, but vary throughout space.

In the case of alpha, it appears that there is a gradient across the universe that gives an orientation of higher and lower values. Alpha is one constant that can be measured at a distance. Things like the speed of light may be impossible to measure remotely.

There is still a lot of double checking to be done, as with the hyper-luminal neutrinos (Einstein also famously declared the speed of light to be an absolute speed limit in the universe), but if proven out, could mean there is another layer of cosmological dynamics out there.

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About Paul Vebber

"If you read about something, you have learned about it. If you can teach something, you have mastered it. Designing a useful game about something however, requires developing a deep understanding of how it relates to other things."

Posted on February 20, 2012, in Neat Ideas. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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