links for 2010-09-07

  • "The strength of the electromagnetic interaction, one of physics's most fundamental constants, is actually very slowly changing, and has different values in different parts of the universe. This amazing find could help us find a grand unified theory of physics.

    Known as the fine-structure constant and generally represented with the Greek symbol ?, this constant is so basic that it doesn't even have dimensions – it's just a value approximately equal to 1/137. No less than Einstein's General Theory of Relativity says that ? should be constant at all times and all places in the universe…and yet that's not what the new data is telling us."