Distant quasar spectrum reveals no sign of changes in mass ratio of proton and electron over 12 billion years

February 25, 2015 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org weblog
An X-ray image of the quasar PKS 1127-145, located about 10 billion light-years from Earth. Credit: NASA.

A team of space researchers working with data from the VLT in Chile has found via measuring the spectrum of a distant quasar by analyzing absorption lines in a galaxy in front of it, that there was no measurable change in the mass ratio of protons and electrons over a span of 12 billion years. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the team, made up of two members from VU University in the Netherlands, and two members from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, describe their findings and what it might mean for helping to explain dark energy.

Some theories suggest that , the mysterious force that has the universe continuing to expand, might be a field that evolves over time—if so, that might mean that some of the constants we take for granted, such as gravity, the speed of light, etc., might actually evolve as well. In this new effort, the researchers sought to test that idea by looking to see if the mass of protons or electrons (both of which are considered to be ) and the ratio that describes their mass difference, changed over the course of billions of years.

To find out if that might be the case, the researchers looked to a distant quasar, one positioned behind a galaxy, relative to us. Quasars are still somewhat mysterious, described as celestial objects that emit a huge amount of energy and light—they look like stars, but some believe they actually hold black holes.

The researchers found that molecular hydrogen in the galaxy absorbed some of the light from the quasar allowing them to measure the energy transitions that occurred and thus the of protons and electrons. Since the galaxy had been previously dated to 12.4 billion years ago, the light reaching it from the quasar must be even older. Their measurements showed no deviation (with a precision of 10–6) from the current constant, suggesting that the ratio has remained constant for at least 12 billon years. And this, the researchers claim, suggests that if dark energy is evolving, it has not done so over that time span.

via physicsworld.com

Explore further: Physical constant is constant even in strong gravitational fields

More information: Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 071301 (2015) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.071301

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29 comments

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antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (15) Feb 25, 2015
This is actually a pretty important piece of news. We always assume the what we measure locally holds true everywhere in the universe. While sensible as a first stab at things (starting from a "we are not special" assumption) there is no guarantee that this is so.

Measurements like these will be the end of a lot of the more speculative theories.
Tuxford
1 / 5 (5) Feb 25, 2015
One patch down, hundreds to go....
tadchem
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 25, 2015
The Principle of Relativity is the idea that the equations describing the laws of physics have the same form in all admissible frames of reference. The Theory of Relativity is the formal application of this principle to those equations, particularly with regard to electromagnetic radiation.
This measurement supports the validity of the Principle by including 12 billion years of 'frames of reference' and showing that the Principle is not violated.
One consequence of the Principle is that in physical reality in there are no such things as 'magic' or 'miracles' because they would require local, temporary deviations from the Principle.

Uncle Ira
3.2 / 5 (9) Feb 25, 2015
"The fool has no pleasure in understanding, but only in airing his own opinions." - Proverbs


"The fool has no pleasure in understanding, but only in airing his own opinions." - Ol Ira-Skippy. Right back at you Skippy.
Captain Stumpy
3.1 / 5 (13) Feb 25, 2015
A miracle is something that occurs due to God suspending or altering temporarily the laws HE SET into place or which were simply already there from the beginning
i hate to bust your bubble, but this is personal conjecture and has no validity or support from any scientific observation, nor from experiment or measurement
Therefore, the conclusions drawn about suspension of physical laws can only be considered to be as valid as your claims about magic-
IOW_- there is no such thing because it doesn't exist

until you can experimentally and empirically prove that there is a means and way to suspend the laws of physics and that the source is your sky faerie then you are pushing religion, not science
your faerie is not specified, but given your quote, you are either, Jewish, Muslim, Christian or 7th day Adventist/creationist (the creationist/7th day are empirically tied by evidence as demonstrated here by this scientist: https://www.youtu...jWkVKyRo )

Captain Stumpy
4.1 / 5 (13) Feb 25, 2015
This article tells me the universe is not 12 billion years old or even close
@danieljknight
given your diatribe above, you are a creationist/7th day Adventist: they are both the same thing and are linked with empirical evidence as proven by the scientist Myers here: https://www.youtu...jWkVKyRo
just another piece of evidence that atheists and those who support an atheist nature view are far far off track
1- athiest means the lack of belief in a deity or deities
that means they simply don't believe in super-natural beings like your sky faerie
2- there is this new thing called SCIENCE which follows a specific method of empirical evidence and experimentation which debunks all your creationist diatribe

this is a SCIENCE site, not a religious one
if you want to argue about how great your religion is, go find a religious forum
this site is based upon the science
things that can actually be supported with evidence
Captain Stumpy
3.2 / 5 (11) Feb 25, 2015
. I won't be reading any further comments here, as it is clearly mostly a place for fools to troll.

well, if you are leaving then we will have one less troll to point out the fallacies of their argument

thank you for being so considerate
i truly appreciate it
Uncle Ira
3.5 / 5 (8) Feb 25, 2015
Which made absolutely no sense. You're insult is merely that, a stupid "nanny nanny boo boo" without explanation.


Now you hurt my feelings Cher.

This is yet another good example of the stupidity of atheists: a thing simply is, cuz they said so.


P'tit Boug, you really got me that one. Choot, how am going to get out of this one?

No atheist, your feelings and your opinion simply are not true, juz cuz. Learn what "explanation" means, fool.


Well how do you know what my opinion is Skippy? Couyon back at you Cher.

"Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool." - Proverbs.


"Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool." - Ol Ira-Skippy. Back at you Skippy.

I won't be reading any further comments here, as it is clearly mostly a place for fools to troll.


Somehow I suspect that you will continue to do your troll foolishment here anyway.
Uncle Ira
3.7 / 5 (9) Feb 25, 2015
. I won't be reading any further comments here, as it is clearly mostly a place for fools to troll.

well, if you are leaving then we will have one less troll to point out the fallacies of their argument

thank you for being so considerate
i truly appreciate it


@ Captain-Skippy. Make sure he leaves the silly looking pointy cap at the door. He hasn't been around enough to earn one to keep and take home,

And Captain-Skippy, I am really sorry about the accident mistake with the 1 vote, I pushed it by being sloppy when I was snipping out the thing to glue into this one.
Whydening Gyre
4.6 / 5 (10) Feb 25, 2015
I won't be reading any further comments here, as it is clearly mostly a place for fools to troll.

Cool! Guess we have your god to thank for that miraculous bit o' magic...
malapropism
5 / 5 (7) Feb 25, 2015
@danieljknight
This is yet another good example of the stupidity of atheists: a thing simply is, cuz they said so.

Pot, meet kettle...
No atheist, your feelings and your opinion simply are not true, juz cuz.
malapropism
5 / 5 (6) Feb 25, 2015
@danieljknight (again)

I am genuinely curious to know your answer to these questions. Given your comments:
1. There is no such thing as magic because magic is a thing which doesn't go by any law, it's something that has no explanation
and
2. A miracle is something that occurs due to God suspending or altering temporarily the laws HE SET into place or which were simply already there from the beginning

What part of a miracle "goes by a law" if your god has "suspended or temporarily altered the laws"?

And what explanation is therefore behind any miracle to differentiate it from the magic you decry? (I'll be generous - you nominate the miracle, any miracle, that you will give an explanation of causation and methodology for. The only proviso is that the explanation must not be "god did it" because that doesn't actually explain any of the "how", does it?)
Whydening Gyre
4.5 / 5 (8) Feb 25, 2015
Please look up "word salad" and stop babbling nonsense. 1. There is no such thing as magic because magic is a thing which doesn't go by any law, it's something that has no explanation. Why haven't you bothered using a dictionary or two to learn basic things so you aren't ranting? 2. A miracle is something that occurs due to God suspending or altering temporarily the laws HE SET into place or which were simply already there from the beginning.
Wow, just wow...
Isn't miraculous magic the suspension of rules already set forth?

It pains me that people like you exist, spreading nonsense due to laziness in things as simple as not bothering to look up the meanings of basic words or supposing the meanings are wrong or outdated to study the context to understand them.

Wow, just wow - again... I can't even find words...
"The fool has no pleasure in understanding, but only in airing his own opinions." - Proverbs

Why do you keep talking about your self?
Dethe
1 / 5 (4) Feb 25, 2015
Measurements like these will be the end of a lot of the more speculative theories
Speculative theories maybe, but these really smart ones predict the directional violation of fine structure constant (aligned to CMBR anisotropy axis) - so that the observation of single quasar is not really substantial here..

fine structure constant distribution

Apparently this effect is quite localized on the sky - so you should know, where to measure it....
AGreatWhopper
2 / 5 (4) Feb 26, 2015
Danielle, would you use your special relationship with sky daddy to tell yer Jeezus spook to PULL HIS DICK OUT OF MY ASS HOLE?!? Why do you worship an anal rapist?

Jesus loves me this I know
For my asshole tells me so
His little dick is weak and limp
His mom's a whore and he's a pimp

Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me
My asshole tells me so!
Whydening Gyre
1 / 5 (1) Feb 26, 2015
Ok. The guy in the lion's den is gone, it would appear...
That said, I find it reassuring that some things don't appear to change - specifically that this particular ratio doesn't.
A pretty good indicator that it is a stable ratio and we (as constituent particles of our Universe) are gonna be around for quite awhile longer...:-)
docroc67
5 / 5 (5) Feb 27, 2015
I may be an agnostic about the existence of the Abrahimic God, but, reading some of the posts here, I'm really starting to believe in the Devil, specifically his need to cause confusion and discord as an end in itself. I refer to posts whose only purpose is to sneer and derail scientific discussion with personal attacks, reality-owning pronouncements based on nothing, ignorant rants about topics the commenter doesn't begin to understand, all couched in a smug sort of anti-science superiority.

If you have so little respect for science, why are you posting here? There are so many places that WELCOME your approach to discussion -- like the major TV news websites. Why not go play in their sandbox?
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Feb 28, 2015
Whopper - Unecessary and just fans the flames...
viko_mx
1 / 5 (4) Mar 01, 2015
I wonder why permanently repeat that universe is old about 13,7 bilion years? What gaves to this peple reason to do this. Scientific facts or theory of cosmic evolution. With the same success can argued that the universe is 100 billion years old. These scientists argue that the universe is so old to have sufficient time window to allow random events to create this highly ordered universe we can see today. But pure chance can not create any stable order even have all eternity available.
Steve 200mph Cruiz
5 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2015
Viko
Www.wikipedia.org...universe

You asked what reasons they have for thinking the universe is at its current age. Luckily this is science and nobody thinks anything for no reason.
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Mar 01, 2015
I wonder why permanently repeat that universe is old about 13,7 bilion years? What gaves to this peple reason to do this. Scientific facts or theory of cosmic evolution. With the same success can argued that the universe is 100 billion years old.

It's the accepted mathematically extrapolated age given the current extent of observation.
These scientists argue that the universe is so old to have sufficient time window to allow random events to create this highly ordered universe we can see today. But pure chance can not create any stable order even have all eternity available.

It's highly ordered and complex at our level of observation. That's because it is strictly ordered at the vary basic level. Not random.
1+1,spin, move +1, and so on...
It's all that is required in a 4d space/time.
No god (other than G.eometricly O.rganized D.ata) necessary...
viko_mx
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 01, 2015
What is mathematically extrapolated that gives the age in the universe? What can be extrapolated when no one now the amout of energy released in this hypothetical event in distant past? What gave the reason some scienties to think that cosmic back ground radiation is coused by big bang event? Such idea is the most unintuitive. We explore the universe with appropriate tools for about 100 years but extrapolate 12 bilion yera ago. Too bold for me.
If gravity is so strong that it allows the formation of the first cosmic structures in this early period after the big bang, despite the enormous speed of expansion without resistance, the universe would have collapsed on its own gavitation long ago. Therefore the popular graphics of hypothetical history of the universe is so strange. Apparently proponent of the big bang are trying to circumvent the laws of physics and to adjust the reality as it suits them, giving intelligent behavior of the universe after this hypothetical primordial event.
Whydening Gyre
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2015
What is mathematically extrapolated that gives the age in the universe? What can be extrapolated when no one now the amout of energy released in this hypothetical event in distant past? What gave the reason some scienties to think that cosmic back ground radiation is coused by big bang event? .... If gravity is so strong that it allows the formation of the first cosmic structures in this early period after the big bang, despite the enormous speed of expansion without resistance, the universe would have collapsed on its own gavitation long ago. Therefore the popular graphics of hypothetical history of the universe is so strange. Apparently proponent of the big bang are trying to circumvent the laws of physics and to adjust the reality as it suits them, giving intelligent behavior of the universe after this hypothetical primordial event?

No more hypothetical than any religious explanation..
viko_mx
1 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2015
@Whydening Gyre

Many historical events of the older history of mankind knew previously only from the Bible in the last hundred years are confirmed 100 % by archeology. So there is no more reliable source of information for the millenary human history. Very fundamental science also confirms Creation of God. On the other hand the main function of evolutionary theories is to justify lawlessness in society and to make it tolerant to it, suggesting its low moral standards that lead to a rapid decline. Nothing new under the sun and there are enough examples in human history. Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah and others examples.
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Mar 02, 2015
@Whydening Gyre

Many historical events of the older history of mankind knew previously only from the Bible in the last hundred years are confirmed 100 % by archeology. So there is no more reliable source of information for the millenary human history. Very fundamental science also confirms Creation of God. On the other hand the main function of evolutionary theories is to justify lawlessness in society and to make it tolerant to it, suggesting its low moral standards that lead to a rapid decline. Nothing new under the sun and there are enough examples in human history. Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah and others examples.

Sorry, Viko. But I would rather trust an archaeological reference to a written account of a book with a "control the masses" bent...
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Mar 02, 2015
Many historical events of the older history of mankind knew previously only from the Bible in the last hundred years are confirmed 100 % by archeology. So there is no more reliable source of information for the millenary human history.

Only by people that want it to be so...
Very fundamental science also confirms Creation of God.

An example please...
On the other hand the main function of evolutionary theories is to justify lawlessness in society and to make it tolerant to it, suggesting its low moral standards that lead to a rapid decline.

Sounds like your grandma talkin'...
Nothing new under the sun and there are enough examples in human history. Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah and others examples.

You apparently don't realize that people in those days like "embellishment" of stories...
(what with no TV and all...)
viko_mx
1 / 5 (2) Mar 03, 2015
Through the Bible God teaches people how to live fully and to build a developed and equitable society where to be happy and to create at will. But weak irresolute people had only destructive feelings as ego, vanity and fear to rule over them and the result we see today.
For what control you speak when God created us free and gives us a free will and choise that all dictators in human history - confused and unhappy people unfamiliar with feeling of love and with revenge fiilings directed to bright and creative personalities, trying to take under one pretext or another . Nowadays such a pretext is national security. Can be understood as security for relevant financial and political power attained through lawlessness, whose create terrorism to introduce the anti-terrorism laws in society that treated citizens like criminals until proven otherwise - pure anti human laws.
viko_mx
1 / 5 (2) Mar 03, 2015
And these theories of evolution are trying to justify such a crazy inadequate to reality and God's principles behavior and the right of the strongest of the day to set the rules. Its pupose is to downgrade the moral standard in society by denying Creation of God and respectively God's laws and principles by pseudo science for naive and uneducated people to make society tolerant to sin. Because only in such a society can do this folly with the idea to control and exploit people. So do not look things like in the devil's mirror.
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (3) Mar 03, 2015
Everyone report each post of vikos that mentions god and his religion that isn't on an article actually about them. I think we've all had enough of his creationist delusions and rantings.
They finally did something about movementiseternal so maybe we can get ten and viko next.

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