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    1. #1
      not so sure.. Achievements:
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      Rethinking Nature’s laws

      Rethinking Nature’s laws

      14th September 2010

      The laws of physics vary in different parts of the universe, according to new evidence uncovered by a team of Australian and British astrophysicists.

      The report in the journal Physical Review Letters describes how the "magic number" known as the fine-structure constant – dubbed alpha for short – appears to vary throughout the universe, says the team from UNSW, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge. The work is currently under peer review (a preliminary version is available here).

      “After measuring alpha in around 300 distant galaxies, a consistency emerged: this magic number, which tells us the strength of electromagnetism, is not the same everywhere as it is here on Earth, and seems to vary continuously along a preferred axis through the universe,” says Professor John Webb of the UNSW School of Physics.

      “The implications for our current understanding of science are profound. If the laws of physics turn out to be merely “local by-laws”, it might be that whilst our observable part of the universe favours the existence of life and human beings, other far more distant regions may exist where different laws preclude the formation of life, at least as we know it.

      “If our results are correct, clearly we shall need new physical theories to satisfactorily describe them,” says Professor Webb.

      The researchers' conclusions are based on new measurements taken with the Very Large Telescope in Chile, along with their previous measurements from the world’s largest optical telescopes at the Keck Observatory, in Hawaii.
      UNSW: The University of New South Wales - Sydney Australia - News - Rethinking Nature?s laws

      I personally don't find this surprising.

      The question that pops up into my head:

      Is this contradictory to string theory and super-symmetry?

    2. #2
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      Hm, well, it's still in peer review... I thought the evidence supported constant laws though I don't know much about this.

    3. #3
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      Yes that's what I thought, too. I still don't really find it surprising though.

      As far as I understood, as a basis for string theory, the evidence wasn't very strong, though.

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      The strength of electromagnetism being able to vary may dramatically increase the odds of finding a unified theory.

      And no dajo, its actually a good push for string theory (which is was replaced by M Theory,) because it allows electromagnetism to leak into extra-dimentional folds, just like gravity in the presence of mass.

    5. #5
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      I see, very interesting.

    6. #6
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      What if....when we normal/lucid dream...somehow....our Self travels to parts of the Universe that bend accordingly to our expectations! Gone diggity yee haw!

      How are they measuring this "magic number" in different galaxies, and is it reliable? Also, does the variation of electromagnetism in different sections of space necessitate a variant law of physics in different sections of space?
      Last edited by malac; 09-25-2010 at 12:56 AM.
      I stomp on your ideas.

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