Part IV Astrophysical and Geochemical Search

Astrophysics, Clocks and Fundamental Constants

Volume 648 of the series Lecture Notes in Physics pp 167-185


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

  • Yasunori FujiiAffiliated withAdvanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo 169-8555

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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.