A molecular probe of dark energy

Rodger I. Thompson, Jill Bechtold, Daniel Eisenstein, Xiaohui Fan, David Arnett, Carlos Martins, Robert Kennicutt, John Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many theoretical models of dark energy invoke rolling scaler fields which in turn predict time varying values of the fundamental constants. Establishing the value of the fundamental constants at various times in the universe can probe and test the various dark energy theories. One of the constants that is predicted to vary is the ratio of the electron to proton mass μ. It was established early on that molecular spectra are sensitive to the value of μ and can be used as probes of that value. This article describes the use of the spectrum of molecular hydrogen in high redshift Damped Lyman Alpha systems (DLAs) as a sensitive probe of the time evolution of μ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-598
Number of pages3
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 5 2008


  • Dark energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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