Limits on a gravitational field dependence of the proton-electron mass ratio from h_{2} in white dwarf stars.

J. Bagdonaite, E.J. Salumbides, S.P. Preval, M.A. Barstow, J.D. Barrow, M.T. Murphy, W.M.G. Ubachs

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Spectra of molecular hydrogen (H2) are employed to search for a possible proton-to-electron mass ratio (μ) dependence on gravity. The Lyman transitions of H2, observed with the Hubble Space Telescope towards white dwarf stars that underwent a gravitational collapse, are compared to accurate laboratory spectra taking into account the high temperature conditions (T∼13000K) of their photospheres. We derive sensitivity coefficients Ki which define how the individual H2 transitions shift due to μ dependence. The spectrum of white dwarf star GD133 yields a Δμ/μ constraint of (-2.7±4.7stat±0.2syst)×10-5 for a local environment of a gravitational potential φ∼104 φEarth, while that of G29-38 yields Δμ/μ=(-5.8±3.8stat±0.3syst)×10-5 for a potential of 2×104 φEarth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123002
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume113
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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