A molecular probe of dark energy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Many theories of dark energy invoke rolling scaler fields which in turn predict time variable fundamental constants such as the ratio of electron to proton mass μ. Molecular energy levels are sensitive to μ with the electronic, vibrational and rotational levels affected each in a different manner depending on their quantum numbers. High redshift damped Lyman alpha clouds with molecular hydrogen offer an excellent opportunity to search for this possible variation. New, very accurate, laboratory measurements of the wavelengths of the Lyman and Werner transitions make it now possible to check whether the small variations in wavelength due to a time varying value of μ, are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrecision Spectroscopy in Astrophysics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the ESO/Lisbon/Aveiro Conference held in Aveiro, Portugal, 11-15 September 2006
EditorsNuno C. Santos, Luca Pasquini, Martino Romaniello, Alexandre C. M. Correia
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameESO Astrophysics Symposia
ISSN (Print)1431-2433
ISSN (Electronic)1611-6143

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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