Exoplanets & Exomoons

The Fine Structure Constant and Habitable Planets

By Keith Cowing
April 19, 2016
Filed under ,
The Fine Structure Constant and Habitable Planets

We use the existence of habitable planets to impose anthropic requirements on the fine structure constant, α. To this effect, we present two considerations that restrict its value to be very near the one observed.

The first, that the end product of stellar fusion is iron and not one of its neighboring elements, restricts α−1 to be 145±50. The second, that radiogenic heat in the Earth’s interior remains adequately productive for billions of years, restricts it to be 145±9. A connection with the grand unified theory window is discussed, effectively providing a route to probe ultra-high energy physics with upcoming advances in planetary science.

McCullen Sandora
(Submitted on 4 Apr 2016)

Comments: 24 pages, 4 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th)
Cite as: arXiv:1604.03151 [astro-ph.CO] (or arXiv:1604.03151v1 [astro-ph.CO] for this version)
Submission history
From: McCullen Sandora
[v1] Mon, 4 Apr 2016 20:04:33 GMT (152kb,D)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻