Quintessence models and the cosmological evolution of α

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The cosmological evolution of a quintessencelike scalar field φ coupled to matter and gauge fields leads to effective modifications of the coupling constants and particle masses over time. We analyze a class of models where the scalar field potential V(φ) and the couplings to matter B(φ) admit common extremum in φ, as in the Damour-Polyakov ansatz. We find that even for the simplest choices of potentials and B(φ), the observational constraints on Δα/α coming from quasar absorption spectra, the Oklo phenomenon and Big Bang nucleosynthesis provide complementary constraints on the parameters of the model. We show the evolutionary history of these models in some detail and describe the effects of a varying mass for dark matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083503
Pages (from-to)083503-1-083503-12
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004

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