An article in Time (I saw it reprinted in Medium), and questions on this site discuss observations that suggest that the fine structure constant might vary spatially in the universe. If true, wouldn't this contradict the basic principle of cosmology that the universe is isotrophic?

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    $\begingroup$ isotropic....... $\endgroup$ – JEB Jan 14 '19 at 23:05

It would certainly violate the cosmological principle if it varies with direction, but not if it were merely a function of redshift (look-back time).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I don't know if you were able to view the article I linked, but the sentence that caught my eye was "A combined analysis of all the data suggests that rather than a time variation of alpha, these observations are seeing a spatial variation--the value of alpha gets larger the deeper one looks in one particular direction, while growing smaller in the opposite direction." If future studies support this analysis, how would this impact our understanding of the history and future of the universe? $\endgroup$ – BCott Jan 16 '19 at 5:05

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