Letter | Published:

Limits on variation of G from clusters of galaxies

Naturevolume 247pages441443 (1974) | Download Citation



IF G decreases by a sufficient amount a cluster of particles will expand. In some cases the particles may have sufficient velocity to escape from the cluster as the gravitational binding decreases. Since it is known that clusters of galaxies and globular clusters currently exist with finite dimensions, limits can be set on the magnitude of the variation of G. In order to set a limit on the rate of change of the gravitational constant (Ġ/G), the dynamical effects on an isolated cluster of galaxies caused by non zero values of Ġ/G were studied numerically. For a range of initial conditions, the maximum rate of change in G was determined which would still allow the existence of clusters of galaxies at the current epoch. A similar study was made for globular clusters and the results were found to be comparable.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Plummer, H. C., Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., 71, 460 (1911).

  2. 2

    Henon, M., Astr. Astrophys., 2, 151 (1969).

  3. 3

    Dearborn, D. S., Astrophys. J., 179, 45 (1973).

  4. 4

    Partridge, R. B., and Peebles, P. J. E., Astrophys. J., 147, 868 (1967).

  5. 5

    Weinberg, Gravitation and Cosmology, 629 (Wiley, New York, 1972).

  6. 6

    Sandage, A., Q. Jl. R. astr. Soc., 13, 282 (1972).

  7. 7

    Gott, J., and Gunn, J., Astrophys. J., 147, 1 (1972).

  8. 8

    Tinsley, B., Astrophys. J. Lett., 173, L93 (1972).

  9. 9

    Reeves, H., Andouze, J., Fowler, W. A., and Schramm, D. N., Astrophys. J., 179, 909 (1973).

  10. 10

    Shapiro, I. I., Smith, W. B., Ash, N. E., Ingalls, R. D., and Pettengill, G. H., Phys. Rev. Lett., 26, 27 (1971).

  11. 11

    Hoyle, F., and Narlikar, J. V., Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., 155, 323 (1972).

  12. 12

    Zeldovich, Y. B., and Novikov, I. D., Relativistic Astrophysics, I, 430 (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1971).

  13. 13

    Morrison, L. V., Nature, 241, 519 (1973).

Download references

Author information


  1. Departments of Astronomy and Physics, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 78712



  1. Search for DAVID S. DEARBORN in:

  2. Search for DAVID N. SCHRAMM in:

About this article

Publication history



Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.