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New Constraints on variations of the fine structure constant from CMB anisotropies

E. Menegoni, S. Galli, J.G. Bartlett, C. J. A. P. Martins, A. Melchiorri

We demonstrate that recent measurements of cosmic microwave background temperature and polarization anisotropy made by the ACBAR, QUAD and BICEP experiments substantially improve the cosmological constraints on possible variations of the fine structure constant in the early universe. This data, combined with the five year observations from the WMAP mission yield the constraint α/α0 = 0.987±0.012 at 68% C.L.. The inclusion of the new Hubble Space Telescope constraints on the Hubble constant further increases the accuracy to α/α0 = 1.001±0.007 at 68% C.L., bringing possible deviations from the current value below the 1% level and improving previous constraints by a factor ∼ 3.

Physical Review D
Volume 80, Issue 8, Page 087302
2009 October

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia