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The fine-structure constant is a unitless numerical constant - whose value is approximately equal to: 1/137. If fact the exact value of the fine-structure constant is: 0.007297351 +/- 0.000000006. Accepted symbol for the fine-structure constant is Greek alpha.

the fine structure constant, fondly known as alpha (α).It is related to the speed of light by the equation α = e^{2} (2ℎcε _{0})^{-1}where:- e is the charge of an electron, ℎ is the Planck constant, c is the speed of light, and ε_{0} is the permittivity of free space.

RD and Evie,Some off-the-wall posts attacking established theories are better than others, but I don't think we going to find any new Einsteins here. As for the formula, it seems alpha can be expressed in SI units (is this my loopy idea?) You can see for yourselves the SI units associated with right side of the equation:electric charge: coulombs (C)c: meters/sec (MS^-1)h: joule seconds (JS)abs permittivity:farads/meter (FM^-1) Source: Documenta Geigy So we have alpha expressed in terms of SI units: C^2SM/JSMF = C^2/JF

Quote from: stevewillie on 12/09/2008 20:45:23RD and Evie,Some off-the-wall posts attacking established theories are better than others, but I don't think we going to find any new Einsteins here. As for the formula, it seems alpha can be expressed in SI units (is this my loopy idea?) You can see for yourselves the SI units associated with right side of the equation:electric charge: coulombs (C)c: meters/sec (MS^-1)h: joule seconds (JS)abs permittivity:farads/meter (FM^-1) Source: Documenta Geigy So we have alpha expressed in terms of SI units: C^2SM/JSMF = C^2/JF The constant has different expressions in different units, but it's dimensionless.α = (1/4πε_{0})e^{2}/hc in SIα = e^{2}/hc in cgsα represent the absolute strenght of the coupling between electric charges and electromagnetic field; absolute in the sense that being dimensionless it doesn't depend on your choice of units. Exactly for this reason is a very important number, more important than e, h, c. It is really a number that comes from nature itself and not on us humans (as other dimensional constants like e, h, c or others).One of the greatest mysteries of physics is why nature chose that value for that constant. Where does it come from?Note that the number α, linking electromagnetism (e and c) with quantum mechanics (h) seems to suggest that there should be a deeper connection (than what we presently know) from the two theories.