A team of astrophysicists based in Australia and England has uncovered evidence that the laws of physics are different in different parts of the universe.
The report describes how one of the supposed fundamental constants of Nature appears not to be constant after all. Instead, this 'magic number' known as the fine-structure constant -- 'alpha' for short -- appears to vary throughout the universe.
"After measuring alpha in around 300 distant galaxies, a consistency emerged: this magic number, which tells us the strength of electromagnetism, is not the same everywhere as it is here on Earth, and seems to vary continuously along a preferred axis through the universe," Professor John Webb from the University of New South Wales said.
If the laws of physics turn out to be merely 'local by-laws', it might be that whilst our observable part of the universe favours the existence of life and human beings, other far more distant regions may exist where different laws preclude the formation of life, at least as we know it."
And if we have a far future intergalactic space opera (with Space Princesses, of course) what happens to the electromagnetic equipment on the ship? Are neural impulses electromagnetic? Any physicists out there?
Add this to the dark energy and "lithium-free bubble" comments earlier, our local neighborhood begins to look a lot more user friendly than the rest of the Stuff out there.