Variation of Physical Constants, Redshift and the Arrow of Time

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Theories of fundamental physics as well as cosmology must ultimately not only account for the structure and evolution of the universe and the physics of fundamental interactions, but also lead to an understanding of why this particular universe follows the physics that it does. Such theories must ultimately lead to an understanding of the values of the fundamental constants themselves. However, all such efforts have failed, leaving fundamental constants outside of any physical theories. In this paper we take a different approach than the usual evolutionary picture where the physics itself is assumed invariant. We study numerical relations among fundamental constants starting from relationships first proposed by Weinberg (1972). We have shown (Kafatos et al.2000) that they turn out to be equivalent to the relations found by Dirac (1937). Then a new scaling hypothesis relating the speed of light c and the scale of the universe R is explored. The "coincidences" of Dirac and Eddington(1931) concerning large numbers and ratios of fundamental constants do not need to be explained in our view, rather they are accepted as premises and in the process, they yield a fundamentally different view of the cosmos. We develop an axiomatic approach and the fundamental constants can be assumed to vary and this variation leads to an apparent expansion of the universe. Also the variation of constants leads to change in the parameters like permittivity and refractive index of the quantum vacuum. This gives rise to a possibility of explaining some of anomalies found in the observations of high redshift quasars. The variations of the fundamental constants lead to a changing universe,i.e., the number of nucleons varies, etc. The increase of the number of nucleons and the redshift of the spectral lines appear to be related to the emergence of an arrow of time as perceived by an observer in the present universe. Possible implications of this new approach in astrophysical domains are discussed.


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Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences