Inconstant Planck’s constant

2015, December 10
Gianpiero Mangano, Fedele Lizzi, and Alberto Porzio
Int. J. Mod. Phys. A 30, 1550209 (2015) [13 pages] DOI: 10.1142/S0217751X15502097

Motivated by the Dirac idea that fundamental constants are dynamical variables and by conjectures on quantum structure of space–time at small distances, we consider the possibility that Planck constant ℏ is a time depending quantity, undergoing random Gaussian fluctuations around its measured constant mean value, with variance σ2 and a typical correlation timescale Δt. We consider the case of propagation of a free particle and a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator coherent state, and show that the time evolution in both cases is different from the standard behavior. Finally, we discuss how interferometric experiments or exploiting coherent electromagnetic fields in a cavity may put effective bounds on the value of τ = σ2Δt.