We describe the results of a search for time variability of the fine structure constant using absorption systems in the spectra of distant quasars. Three large optical data sets and two and mm absorption systems provide four independent samples, spanning to of the age of the universe. Each sample yields a smaller in the past and the optical sample shows a deviation: over the redshift range . We find no systematic effects which can explain our results. The only potentially significant systematic effects push towards positive values; i.e., our results would become more significant were we to correct for them.
- Received 29 December 2000
- Published 9 August 2001
© 2001 The American Physical Society