Variation of fundamental constants from Big Bang to atomic clocks
Professor V. Flambaum
I present a review of recent works devoted to the variation of the fine structure constant alpha, strong interaction and fundamental masses. There are some hints for the variation in quasar absorption spectra, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, and Oklo natural nuclear reactor data.
A very promising method to search for the variation of the fundamental constants consists in comparison of different atomic clocks. Huge enhancement of the variation effects happens in transition between accidentally degenerate atomic and molecular energy levels. A new idea is to build a ``nuclear'' clock based on the ultraviolet transition between very low excited state and ground state in Thorium nucleus. This may allow to improve sensitivity to the variation up to 10 orders of magnitude!
Huge enhancement of the variation effects is also possible in cold atomic and molecular collisions near Feschbach resonance.