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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Stellar test of the physics of unification

J. P. P. Vieira, C. J. A. P. Martins, M. J. P. F. G. Monteiro

Abstract
We discuss the feasibility of using solar-type main-sequence stars as probes of fundamental physics and unification. We use a simple polytropic stellar structure model and study its sensitivity to variations of the gravitational, strong and electroweak coupling constants in the context of unification scenarios. We quantify the sensitivity of the Sun’s interior temperature to these variations, finding |Δα/α| ≲ 1.3×10-4 for a ’canonical’ choice of unification scenario, and discuss prospects for future improvements.

Physical Review D
Volume 86, Page 043003_1
August 2012

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Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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