PRISMA+ Colloquium

Oct. 22, 2014 at 1 p.m. in Minkowski-Raum 05-119, Staudingerweg 7

Prof. Dr. Tobias Hurth
Institut für Physik, THEP

Manifestations of Dark matter and Dark energy in atomic and astrophysical phenomena
Prof. Victor Flambaum (University of New South Wales, Sydney)

This talk will describe three different topics.
Astrophysical data indicate variation of the fine structure constant alpha in space. The variation of the fundamental constants is predicted by some Dark energy theories. It also may explain old puzzle: the fine tuning of the fundamental constants which is needed for life to appear. We appeared in the area of the Universe where the values of the fundamental constants are good for us. Direction of the recently observed gradient in the magnitude of the cosmic microwave background fluctuations agree with the direction of the gradient of alpha. Laboratory experiments searching for the variation of the fundamental constants will also be described.
Effects of violations of the fundamental symmetries (parity, time reversal, Lorentz invariance, CPT) in atoms have been used to test unification theories. Such effects may also appear due to condensates of hypothetical particles (such as axions) which have been created after Big Bang. Observable effects include rotation of electron and nuclear spins around the direction of the condensate motion (axion wind) and around the direction of the gravitational force, oscillating atomic electric dipole moments and parity violating effects.
Topological defects may also be a part of dark matter. Collisions of such defects with pulsars may produce pulsar quakes (which have possibly been observed already), they also may produce lensing of cosmic radiation and delay of the pulsar signals. The topological defects may produce transient observable effects in atomic clocks and other laboratory devices, they also may change the speed of the Earth rotation.