Date: 18 Aug 2004

Oklo Constraint on the Time-Variabilityof the Fine-Structure Constant

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The Oklo phenomenon, natural fission reactors which had taken place in Gabon about 2 billion years ago, provides one of the most stringent constraints on the possible time-variability of the fine-structure constant α. We first review briefly what it is and how reliable it is in constraining α. We then compare the result with a more recent result on the nonzero change of α obtained from the observation of the QSO absorption lines. We suggest a possible way to make these results consistent with each other in terms of the behavior of a scalar field which is expected to be responsible for the acceleration of the universe.