ESO Future Facilities to Probe Fundamental Physical Constants

  • Paolo MolaroEmail author
  • Jochen Liske
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP)


Following HARPS, two ESO projects are aimed at the ambitious goal of trying to reach the highest possible precision in measuring the radial velocity of astronomical sources. ESPRESSO spectrograph, located at the incoherent combined 4VLT focus, but able to work either with one or all VLT units, and CODEX for E-ELT will mark ESO roadmap towards the cm s − 1level of precision and possibly to an unlimited temporal baseline. By providing photon noise limited measures their promise is to improve the present limits in the variability of fundamental physical constants by one and two orders of magnitude, respectively, thus allowing for instance to verify the claim discussed at this conference by John Webb of a possible spatial dipole in the variation of the fine structure constant.


Radial Velocity Photon Noise Wavelength Calibration Fundamental Physical Constant Echelle SPectrograph 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to both the ESPRESSO and CODEX collaborations for the excellent work done and for allowing me to present some results before publication. The ESPRESSO team is composed by Francesco A. Pepe (PI), Stefano Cristiani, Rafael Rebolo Lopez, Nuno C. Santos, Antonio Amorim, Gerardo Avila, Willy Benz, Piercarlo Bonifacio, Alexandre Cabral, Pedro Carvas, Roberto Cirami, João Coelho, Maurizio Comari, Igor Coretti, Vincenzo De Caprio, Hans Dekker, Bernard Delabre, Paolo Di Marcantonio, Valentina D’Odorico, Michel Fleury, Ramón Garcia López, José Miguel Herreros Linares, Ian Hughes, Olaf Iwert, Jorge Lima, Jochen Liske, Jean-Louis Lizon, Gaspare Lo Curto, Christophe Lovis, Antonio Manescau, Carlos Martins, Denis Mégevand, André Moitinho, Paolo Molaro, Mario Monteiro, Manuel Monteiro, Christoph Mordasini, Luca Pasquini, Didier Queloz, José Luis Rasilla, Jose Manuel Rebordão, Samuel Santana Tschudi, Paolo Santin, Danuta Sosnowska, Paolo Spanó, Fabio Tenegi, Stéphane Udry, Eros Vanzella, Matteo Viel, Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, Filippo Zerbi.

The CODEX team is composed by Luca Pasquini (PI), Stefano Cristiani, Ramón Garcia-Lopez, Martin Haehnelt, Michel Mayor, Gerardo Avila, George Becker, Piercarlo Bonifacio, Bob Carswell, Roberto Cirami, Maurizio Comari, Igor Coretti, Gaspare Lo Curto, Hans Dekker, Bernard Delabre, Miroslava Dessauges, Paolo di Marcantonio, Valentina D’Odorico, Artemio Herrero, Garik Israelian, Olaf Iwert, Jochen Liske, Christophe Lovis, Antonio Manescau, Denis Mégevand, Paolo Molaro, Dominique Naef, Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, Francesco Pepe, Rafael Rebolo, Marco Riva, Paolo Santin, Paolo Spanó, Fabio Tenegi, Stéphane Udry, Eros Vanzella, Matteo Viel, Filippo Maria Zerbi. It is a pleasure to acknowledge Sergei Levshakov for many helpful discussions on the topic.

When we were writing these proceedings, we received the news that Allan Sandage passed away. We would like to recall that during his whole life spent inspiring research, it was Allan who set the idea of the direct measure of cosmic expansion. With CODEX we hope to realize in the next decades what he envisaged almost half a century ago.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di TriesteTriesteItaly
  2. 2.ESO Karl-Schwarchild StrasseMunichGermany

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