Taking a second look at evidence for the 'varying' fine-structure constant: Although the regions with the triangles do make up the boundary region, Orzel finds it suspicious that they align so well with the locations of the specific telescopes. The idea is that the shift may be due to subtle differences in the two telescopes, in which one telescope's data set was slightly high and the other telescope's data set was slightly low, so that they canceled each other out when they overlapped.
Carroll takes an entirely different approach to the study. He looks at the fine-structure constant as a scalar field. He explains that, if the telescopes' observations are correct, and the fine-structure constant varies smoothly over the universe, then the scalar field must have a very small mass. However, previous research has shown that the mass is not likely to be extremely small.
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