Wes Johnson gave ) told about very interesting observations suggesting that cosmology has North-South (N-S) axis in the sense that fine structure constant has N-S variation with respect to this axis. See the popular article. Here is the abstract of the article of Webb et al.
Observations of the redshift z = 7.085 quasar J1120+0641 are used to search for variations of the fine structure constant, a, over the redshift range 5.5 to 7.1. Observations at z = 7.1 probe the physics of the universe at only 0.8 billion years old. These are the most distant direct measurements of a to date and the first measurements using a near-IR spectrograph. A new AI analysis method is employed. Four measurements from the X-SHOOTER spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) constrain changes in a relative to the terrestrial value (α0). The weighted mean electromagnetic force in this location in the universe deviates from the terrestrial value by Δ α/α = (αz- α0)/α0= (-2.18 ± 7.27) × 10-5, consistent with no temporal change. Combining these measurements with existing data, we find a spatial variation is preferred over a no-variation model at the 3.9 σ level.
To repeat: the difference from earthly value of α is small and consistent with no temporal change. If the measurements are combined with existing data, one finds that the model assuming spatial variation in north-south direction is preferred over no-variation model at 3.9 sigma level.
This kind of variation was reported years ago (see this). Thanks for Richard Ruquist for the link. I also wrote about the claim (see this).
The findings are very strange and counterintuitive and the effect probably disappears: there are many uncertainties involved since data from several experiments are combined. If the effect is real, there is challenge to understand it so that one cannot avoid the temptation for intellectual exercise.
In TGD framework many-sheeted space-time serves as a starting point.
How the N-S gradient in α could be understood?
- The notion of space-time sheet requires that the M^4 projection of space-time surfaces is 4-D: I call these space-time sheets Einstenian. This was not true in primordial cosmology during which cosmic strings with 2-D M4 projection dominated (2-D in good approximation) - space-time was not Einsteinian yet. During the analog of inflationary period cosmic strings thickened to flux tubes and liberated energy giving rise to ordinary particles. Transition to radiation dominated cosmology took place during this period.
- The fluctuations in the density of matter tell that this transition did not take at exactly the same value of cosmic time T but there are fluctuations of order ΔT/T ≈ 10-5. This happens to be same order of magnitude as the reported value of Δα/α along North-South direction, which puts bells ringing. Could same cosmic parameter determine fluctuation amplitude ΔT/T and the relative change Δα/α along N-S direction?
Could it be that the transition to radiation dominated cosmology took place in a wave propagating in North-South (N-S) direction so that there would be a gradient of T along N-S direction: ΔT/T - not fluctuation. This does not require gradient in fluctuations Δ T/T and Δ ρ/ρ. Could this gradient also explain the gradient in α along N-S direction?
See the chapter More TGD inspired cosmology.
- At QFT limit particle experiences the sum of induced gauge fields assignable to the space-time sheets which it necessarily touches because it has same size of order CP2size as the sheets on top of each other in CP2directions. Standard model gauge fields can be indeed defined as sums of these induced gauge fields. Same applies to gravitational field identified in terms of metric of Einsteinian space-time having 4-D M4 projection.
- The many-sheeted space-time was not quite the same thing in today and in ancient universe. The number of space-time sheets could have been different. Space-time sheets carried also induced classical fields with different strength.
Monopole flux tubes created during the analog of inflationary period from cosmic strings indeed evolve during cosmic evolution. Their thickness increases in rapid jerks and in average sense this corresponds to a smooth cosmic expansion. This conforms with the fact that astrophysical objects do not seem to expand themselves in cosmic expansion although they co-move as particles in this expansion.
The increase of the thickness of monopole magnetic flux tube reduces its magnetic field strength since monopole flux is conserved. This in turn reduces the contribution of this space-time sheet to the classical em field experienced by a charged particle. In particular, this would affect the binding energies of atoms slightly.
- Could this together with the wave like progression of the transition to radiation dominated cosmology be responsible for the dependence α on N-S direction with the increase Δα/α ≈ 10-5?