If the fine structure constant is different in different parts of the universe, then what would happen if we travelled to those regions?

(I realise this is completely impossible as they are impossibly distant, so this is just a thought experiment).

If we hop in our spaceship and travel to a region where the fine structure constant has a greater magnitude, then will we be subject to those physical effects? Or will we, as beings composed of matter from our current region, still be subject to our original value of the fine structure constant?


If we move to a region where the fine structure constant is different, as we see by measuring the electrons and protons in this region, we would feel the new value of the fine structure constant also, gradually, as we moved to the new region. The reason is because the electrons in our bodies are quantum-mechanically indistinguishable from the electrons in the distant matter, and if they interacted differently, you would be able to tell them apart. This is the reason that a variation of the fine structure constant must be due to a new field which gradually varies from point to point, like a quintessence field. Such an interaction is non-renormalizable so it is difficult to make a model for it, so one should be skeptical.

| cite | improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.