The record-breaking result reveals the incredible precision achievable by atomic clocks.
The fine-structure constant is about 10 times its normal value in a type of material called quantum spin ice, physicists calculate. The new calculation hints that quantum spin ice could give a glimpse at physics within an alternate universe where the constant is much larger.
A radioactive isotope profoundly affected the origin and evolution of our solar system. Now, scientists at the Flatiron Institute, the University of Vienna and UC Santa Cruz have spotted it in a system of budding stars.