Solar System planetary tests of \({\dot c/c}\)

Research Article

Abstract

Analytical and numerical calculations show that a putative temporal variation of the speed of light c, with the meaning of space-time structure constant cST, assumed to be linear over timescales of about one century, would induce a secular precession of the longitude of the pericenter \({\varpi}\) of a test particle orbiting a spherically symmetric body. By comparing such a predicted effect to the corrections \({\Delta\dot\varpi}\) to the usual Newtonian/Einsteinian perihelion precessions of the inner planets of the Solar System, recently estimated by E.V. Pitjeva by fitting about one century of modern astronomical observations with the standard classical/relativistic dynamical force models of the EPM epehemerides, we obtained \({\dot c/c =(0.5\pm 2)\times 10^{-7} {\rm yr}^{-1}}\) . Moreover, the possibility that \({\dot c/c\neq 0}\) over the last century is ruled out at 3−12σ level by taking the ratios of the perihelia for different pairs of planets. Our results are independent of any measurement of the variations of other fundamental constants which may be explained by a variation of c itself (with the meaning of electromagnetic constant cEM). It will be important to repeat such tests if and when other teams of astronomers will estimate their own corrections to the standard Newtonian/Einsteinian planetary perihelion precessions with different ephemerides.

Keywords

Experimental studies of gravity Modified theories of gravity Solar system objects 

References

  1. 1.
    Moffat J.W.: Int. J. Mod. Phys. D 2, 351 (1993)MATHCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barrow J.D.: Phys. Rev. D 59, 043515 (1999)CrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Magueijo J.: Phys. Rev. D 62, 103521 (2000)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Magueijo J.: Rept. Prog. Phys. 66, 2025 (2003)CrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ellis G.F.R., Uzan J.-P.: Am. J. Phys. 73, 240 (2005)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ellis G.F.R.: Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 39, 511 (2007)MATHCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Magueijo J., Moffat J.W.: Gen. Relativ. Gravit. 40, 1797 (2008)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Webb J.K., Flambaum V.V., Churchill C.W., Drinkwater M.J., Barrow J.D.: Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 884 (1999)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Murphy M.T., Webb J.K., Flambaum V.V., Drinkwater M.J., Combes F., Wiklind T.: Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc. 327, 1244 (2001)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Webb J.K., Murphy M.T., Flambaum V.V., Dzuba V.A., Barrow J.D., Churchill C.W., Prochaska J.X., Wolfe A.M.: Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 091301 (2001)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Uzan J.-P.: Rev. Mod. Phys. 75, 403 (2003)CrossRefMathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Petrov Yu.V., Nazarov A.I., Onegin M.S., Petrov V.Yu., Sakhnovsky E.G.: Phys. Rev. C 74, 064610 (2006)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Shaw D.J., Barrow J.D.: Phys. Lett. B 39, 596 (2006)ADSGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Soffel M.: Relativity in Astrometry, Celestial Mechanics and Geodesy. Springer, Heidelberg (1989)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jordan P.: Naturwiss. 25, 513 (1937)MATHCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jordan P.: Z. Physik 113, 660 (1937)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Arias, E. F.: Improvements in international timekeeping. In: Brzezinski, A., Capitaine, N., Kolaczek, B. (eds.) Proceedings of the Journées 2005 Systèmes de Référence Spatio-Temporels. Space Research Centre PAS, Warsaw (2006)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bertotti, B., Farinella, P., Vokrouhlický, D.: Physics of the Solar System, p. 313. Kluwer, Dordrecht (2003)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Magueijo J.: Phys. Rev. D 63, 043502 (2001)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Magueijo J.: Phys. Rev. D 62, 103521 (2000)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pitjeva E.V.: Astron. Lett. 31, 340 (2005)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pitjeva, E.V.: Personal communication to L. Iorio (2008)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pitjeva E.V.: Solar Syst. Res. 39, 176 (2005)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INFN-Sezione di PisaBariItaly

Personalised recommendations