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New limit on a varying proton-to-electron mass ratio from high-resolution optical quasar spectra

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2010

A. L. Malec
Affiliation:
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria 3122, Australia email: amalec@swin.edu.au
R. Buning
Affiliation:
Laser Centre, VU University, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
M. T. Murphy
Affiliation:
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria 3122, Australia email: amalec@swin.edu.au
N. Milutinovic
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8P 1A1, Canada
S. L. Ellison
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8P 1A1, Canada
J. X. Prochaska
Affiliation:
University of California Observatories – Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
L. Kaper
Affiliation:
Laser Centre, VU University, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
J. Tumlinson
Affiliation:
Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
R. F. Carswell
Affiliation:
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
W. Ubachs
Affiliation:
Laser Centre, VU University, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Abstract

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Molecular transitions recently discovered at redshift zabs=2.059 toward the bright background quasar J2123-0050 are analysed to limit cosmological variation in the proton-to-electron mass ratio, μ ≡ mp/me. Observed with the Keck telescope, the optical spectrum has the highest resolving power and largest number (86) of H2 transitions in such analyses so far. Also, (7) HD transitions are used for the first time to constrain μ-variation. These factors, and an analysis employing the fewest possible free parameters, strongly constrain μ's relative deviation from the current laboratory value: Δμ/μ =(+5.6±5.5stat±2.7sys)×10−6. This is the first Keck result to complement recent constraints from three systems at zabs>2.5 observed with the Very Large Telescope.

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Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2010
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