The fine structure constant of the Universe is a mathematical value determined by physicists to give the strength of the force that exists when an electron gives up its force carrying particle the photon. Since the early 20th century origin of quantum mechanics the value was believed to be a universal constant at about 1/137. Now that certainty is changing.
Astrophysicists in recent years have found evidence in very distant stellar light sources to support the conclusion that the fine structure constant actually has varied in different regions of the Universe. If it changed by 4% or more stars could not be made from the present methods whereby they are composed. Neither would life exist as we know it without stars.
The Economist and others (see the Feb 2011 article by Bob Berman in Astronomy) have issued articles on the recent change in theory. The topic is interesting especially for those interested in cosmology for if the constant of physics may change much it indicates that underlying causes that are unknown may affect similar processes differently. Perhaps the space-time dimensions of the early inflaton also changed the values of what is called the ‘alpha’ force.
Changes in the fine structure constant may indicate the presence of extra hidden dimensions, or it may indicate that early hidden dimensions were not as compact, or alternately, more compact than today. The quasars or bright galactic sources more than 9 billion light years away in each direction have differing values. In one direction alpha is a little smaller while in the opposite direction 18 billion light years distant it is a little larger. Naturally we would guess that the unfolding of space time dimensions from an initial extremely compacted state might occur with different strengths of force as the intervals of the ball of yarn unrolled (a humorous salute to string theory).
The differential values of alpha that seem possible confirms our appreciation for the subtle constructions of God in issuing select dimensions from a field perhaps of all possible-dimensions in some divine construction yard.
-note to Christian readers- I believe that God may have an Einstinean relativistic realtion to the six days of creation. That is, he can construct several billion years worth of work of Universe building in what to Him might seem a 24 hour day. refer to ‘the twins paradox’.