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The Fine Structure Constant Is Growing

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on May 14, 2002 22:00:03 UTC

Read about it in the 11 May 2002 issue of New Scientist. The fine structure constant, or rather, formerly constant, appears to have grown by a millionth of its present value, roughly 1/137, since 12 billion years ago. Present day physics including M-theory cannot account for such growth.

The fine structure constant, commonly called alpha, is equal to 2pi e squared/hc where e is the electron charge, h is planck's constant and c is the speed of light.

The article suggests that it is the speed of light that was faster 12 billion years ago, thereby accounting for the growth of alpha. That is, light has perhaps slowed down by one millionth of its present value in vacuum in the last 12 billion years.

Now you may rightfully ask why this news is posted on a God & Science forum. It obviously is of great astronoimical value, and should appear somewhere on the astronomy forum- but why God & Science.

Well, one of the new earth creationist explanations for the apparent size of the universe and the age of the light that we see, is that the speed of light is so variable that not so far from earth it is effectively infinite allowing us to see great distances in the universe in just 6,000 years.

These measurements of alpha prove that the speed of light, yea chemistry itself, has barely changed in the last 12 billion years. It has changed enough to give scientists goose bumps. But as far as young earth creationism is concerned, it has been effectively constant for the life of the universe as far as we can see(pun intended).

Regards,

Richard

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