Abstract by Daniel Jones
Physics and Astronomy
J. Ward Moody
Testing the Stability of Fundamental Parameters with Time
It is necessary to test whether fundamental constants are stable throughout time. To accomplish this, we calculated the flux ratios of the λ = 4959 and λ = 5007 [OIII] lines for 22,000 galactic spectra which were obtained using the Sloan Digitized Sky Survey (SDSS). These galaxies range from z = 0 to z = 0.7 and allow us to look back 6 Gyrs. The current values for the parameters that cause these lines to form force them to have a 1:3 flux ratio. If, however, these fundamental parameters change with time, a trend between z values and flux ratios could be found. As we analyzed the data for this trend, we found that the routines for fitting these emission lines also needed to be rigorously tested in order to fully understand their limits as the signal to noise varies. To accomplish this, we evaluated multiple routines while adding noise, decreasing the signal, and then calculated the error in the fit. I will discuss the accuracy limits of our techniques and the preliminary results.