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Constant Changes

If a constant of nature can vary, then so might laws of physics

10:31am, October 2, 2001

Sometimes it's the tiniest differences that change everything. This summer, astrophysicists reported tantalizing evidence of just such a discrepancy.

Using one of the world's largest telescopes, a team of Australian, British, and U.S. astrophysicists observed clouds of gas in space backlit by beams of radiation from ancient, superpowerful quasars.

By doing so, they have found evidence that one of the constants of nature, which are never ever supposed to vary, was smaller billions of years ago than it is today. The quantity that was measured, known as alpha, wasn't small

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