Anything Can Change, It Seems, Even an Immutable Law of Nature
By James Glanz and Dennis Overbye
An international team of astrophysicists has discovered that the basic laws of nature as understood today may be changing slightly as the universe ages, a surprising finding that could rewrite physics textbooks and challenge fundamental assumptions about the workings of the cosmos.
The researchers used the world’s largest single telescope to study the behavior of metallic atoms in gas clouds as far away from Earth as 12 billion light years. The observations revealed patterns of light absorption that the team could not explain without assuming a change in a basic constant of nature involving the strength of the attraction between electrically charged particles.
If confirmed, the finding could mean that other constants regarded as immutable, like the speed of light, might also have changed over the history of the cosmos.
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