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3
votes
1answer
62 views

Would a Theory of Everything allow us to calculate the constants of physics?

I have heard several times in the past that a Theory of Everything would allow us to calculate (as opposed to measure) the fundamental dimensionless physical constants. What I mean is, e.g., the fine ...
-1
votes
2answers
91 views

Can anyone tell me the name of this constant?

I was watching a TV program about cosmology (I can't remember which or how old it was). In it, it mentioned a fundamental number (which I'm assuming is a constant, but that's not necessarily true). ...
0
votes
2answers
91 views

Is it possible to vary the value of G and the masses of celestial bodies leaving equal G*M? [closed]

The mass of the Earth is M = 6 * (10^24 Kg or 10^27 g, which is the same) and G is 6.67 * (... accordingly) Are these values imposed by reality or we can change them up to a point?: Can we double ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What are some ways to measure variations in the speed of light in vacuum?

To avoid confusion, I am not talking about measuring differences in the speed of light in vacuum as a result of a particular Lorentz boost. What I mean is, suppose the "constant speed of light" were ...
-3
votes
2answers
254 views

Why is the speed of light limited to (only) 299.792.458 m/s? [closed]

The speed of light (in a vacuum) is limited to 299.792.458 m/s. This sounds very fast, and it is on a global scale. But if you look at the Universe on a larger scale than it sounds quite slow, For ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

Does the accelerated rate of expansion of the Universe have any effect on the speed of light in vacuum?

So I was just wondering about this as I finished reading about Michelson-Morley's experiment which disproved the ether theory. My question is since the Universe is constantly expanding and that too ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Do we regularly measure and update our physical constants (By using the LHC)?

This question is motivated by sheer curiosity. I certainly do not expect that the free parameters we use in the standard model have changed in value since we started measuring them with a "modern" ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Question about Planck's constant

How did Dirac or whoever came up with it know that the momentum operator in quantum mechanics is $-i\hbar\frac{d}{dx}$? How did he know the $\hbar$ was in there? How did all these physicists know ...
5
votes
3answers
186 views

Is the speed of light in vacuum constant or does the math just happen to work out?

My apologies if my question is really idiotic, but I ask sincerely because I want to learn. Based on this question and lots of other places on the web, this topic seems to be really confusing. Let's ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the speed of light in vacuum always the same value?

The escape velocity of different planets and stars vary. If they vary, the velocities of bodies escaping from the respective stars or planets should also vary. Like, if I want a ball to reach 10 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

How do we know that fundamental constants don't slowly change in time? [duplicate]

Let me get one thing straight first. I am not saying that fundamental constants like the speed of light don't have the value that we know they have today. What I am asking is whether the value of a ...
3
votes
0answers
65 views

Is there a relation between $G$ and the age of the universe?

Here is a recording of Paul Dirac, talking about dimensionless constants and their significance. He gives some examples of such constants(ratio of the masses of an electron to a proton, the ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

Algebraic properties of fundamental physical constants

A few weeks ago I started wondering if there's any reason for a given fundamental physical constant, like Boltzmann's one, to enjoy some algebraic properties, for example being rational/irrational or ...
-2
votes
1answer
120 views

Why $c$ is $3$ x $10^8$ times faster than a $1$ $m/sec$ car? [duplicate]

The value of of a dimensional constant like $c$ is often regarded as unimportant since it can be arbitrarily changed to any desired value by changing our units. For example, $c$=$3$x$10^8$ in $m/sec$, ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What happens as you approach/cross the Planck temperature?

According to IFLScience, above the Planck Temperature (absolute hot) conventional physics break down. My question is what happens as you approach this temperature, and, if it is possible, what ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

If you have two Planck lengths extended from one point forming a right angle, whats the length of the hypotenuse? [duplicate]

Can we do measurements at this scale seeing that the length of the hypotenuse would have a value at a length that cant exist (1.4 Planck lengths)? Or is my interpretation of the Planck length ...
0
votes
5answers
274 views

Explain why quantum behavior is not observed in daily life

People always ask: How come we don't see any "Wave" attached to a classical object such as a car? You always see the object in the same place without any uncertainty. I am sure there are answers, ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

What is the significance of Planck charge?

It seems for me that Planck units are somehow connected to limits where our current knowledge breaks down because of (quantum) gravitational effects. Please correct me if I'm wrong. For example ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

How is “little $h$” measured in cosmology? The dimensionless parameter from the Hubble constant, $H_0$

Hubble's law has been well-know for close to a century now. It is written as $v = H_0 d$ where the Hubble constant $H_0$ is the constant of proportionality between recession speed $v$ and distance ...
38
votes
3answers
6k views

Is the Planck length the smallest length that exists in the universe or is it the smallest length that can be observed?

I have heard both that Planck length is the smallest length that there is in the universe (whatever this means) and that it is the smallest thing that can be observed because if we wanted to observe ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

Planck length paradox [closed]

This is a paradox I thought of a few days ago, and I wanted to ask whether it makes any sense and where the mistake is. We know that the nothing but light can move faster than light itself. So in a ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Experimentally finding units of physical quantity?

Say you had a new physical quantity you wanted to determine the units for. How do you go about this? For the strength of an electromagnet for example, you could carry out a simple experiment like the ...
-5
votes
1answer
84 views

What areas of research question the existence of the Planck length?

As a follow up to What are the structures that exist at roughly the scale of the Planck length?, what areas of research question the idea of a Planck length (or Planck scale)? Or if there are no areas ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

Are the fundamental constants of nature independent?

Background: I am a layman and I just watched the video "Infinite Worlds: A Journey through Parallel Universes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO4uzgiRHkE) featuring a discussion with Andrei Linde, ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

How did scientists even count the mole? It is an enormous number [duplicate]

Or did they estimate the number? After all, it is impossible to locate and contain precisely that much atoms. Or was it arbitrary?
0
votes
4answers
121 views

How to measure the mass of Earth?

I was wondering how you can measure the mass of Earth. From what I find on the internet, people are using Newton's Laws. But how can you do that ? Newton's Laws are assumed to work because you know a ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Is every aspect (fundamental forces, periodic table) of an antimatter universe exactly the same, except the fact that it's all antimatter?

Are all the constants (Boltzmann's, gravitational, $c$) the same? Would elements react differently? Would it look the same?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Is there a list of (the solid state version of) electron affinities?

I'm doing some energy band diagram analysis for a few scenarios, and I need the Electron affinity as defined in solid state physics for a few materials. Note that this is different than the one taught ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Mass dimensions and weak interaction

The Fermi constant has a mass dimension of $-2$ and a value of $10^{-5}GeV^{-2}$. How can I infer from this information that the mass scale of the weak interaction is about $10^2 GeV$?
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Value of Planck scale

I read several times that the Planck scale is the energy scale at which the effects of gravity are comparable to the effects of the other fundamental forces. How can I show that this actually happens ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Experimental determination of $\Lambda_{QCD}$

I have a question about $\Lambda_{QCD}$, the energy scale at which there is a transition from the regime of perturbative QCD to quark confinement. How it is measured experimentally?
2
votes
2answers
247 views

Free parameters in the Standard Model

From my understanding of the standard model, I understand that there are 19 or 20 free parameters that we need to put in by hand as, and I'm guessing here, there is as yet no theoretical basis for ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Are physical constants determined by their observation?

In common interpretations of quantum mechanics, it can only be said that objects exist once I observe them - it is not legitimate to ask where an object was before I observed it. Does this point of ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Is Boltzmann constant $k_B$ constant?

I heard in a lecture that Boltzmann constant $k_B$ is not constant in some special cases. Do you know the title of the article which contains this one? Do you think this idea is true?
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Setting constants equal to 1 conditions

I have the following expression for the entropy of an ideal gas in a microcanonical ensemble, $$S=Nk_B\ln \left[ \frac{Ve}{N}\left(\frac{4\pi m e E}{3Nh_0^2}\right)\right] $$ Ideally I would like to ...
2
votes
3answers
495 views

Are length contractions limited by Planck length?

While we are getting closer to speed of light our length in the direction of the movement is according to Lorentz transformation getting shorter. But we can not (even theoretically) consider length ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Deriving (dimensionless) physical constants from theory

The Wikipedia entry on Physical Constants says: With the development of quantum chemistry in the 20th century, however, a vast number of previously inexplicable dimensionless physical constants ...
2
votes
2answers
156 views

What Planck units are limits?

Some Planck units, like time, length, or temperature, describe a physical maximum or minimum, at least approximately: you can't get hotter than the Planck temperature, measure anything smaller than ...
0
votes
0answers
79 views

How the experimental charge $e=1.60217657 × 10^{-19} C$ has precisely this value?

The coupling constant that we measured in "arbitrarily" low energy is $e=1.60217657 × 10^{-19} C$. How this is presented in Renormalization Group flow in charge coupling space? Why the action of the ...
6
votes
3answers
180 views

Can someone explain Planck's constant simply? [closed]

Can someone explain Planck's constant simply? I know the math, however I don't understand the relevance. To explain what I'm asking, what is the significance of it when doing quantum mechanical ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

What is the significance of Planck's constant in De Broglie–Bohm theory or Pilot-wave theory?

In standard QM, Planck's constant seems to be a constant that describes the smallest quanta of energy in some way. Does De Broglie–Bohm theory have an alternate interpretation of that constant and ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Is there a Planck uncertainty?

There are theories which place lower limits on length, time and temperature. Is there a corresponding one for the lower limit for uncertainty? Is there a probability so small it cannot exist in this ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Why is $\mu_0$ missing in EM formulas in Peskin and Schroeder?

In this post, $\hbar=c=1$ units are used throughout. It is well known that the action of classical electromagnetism is given by $$\mathcal S_{\text{Maxwell}} = \int ...
0
votes
5answers
196 views

Why is the speed of light in vacuum constant? [duplicate]

Are there any proof of the speed of light in vacuum being constant? All I hear is that light in vacuum travels at a constant speed because that's an observation and that it fits in a coherent theory ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Fine structure constant definition

The fine structure constant is usually defined using $e$, $h$ ,$c$ ... However, from QED, we know it cannot be derived but only experimentally measured. Does that mean the usual definition we use in ...
0
votes
4answers
149 views

How confident can we be that the speed of light in a medium is constant?

I have recently found this article http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/02.18/light.html it tells that physicists have been able to slow the speed of light. Is this hokum? If not how is it possible to ...
2
votes
2answers
350 views

Why is the Luminiferous aether theory wrong? [closed]

I saw on this page about the constant speed of light that there are two ways of interpreting this constant speed: General relativity The Luminiferous aether theory I understand why the theory of ...
3
votes
1answer
257 views

The fine structure constant - can it genuinely be a random variable?

The question Does it make sense, and are there physical reasons to think about the fine structure constant as a (very concentrated) probability distribution rather than a single real number? ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Can gravitational constant be changed?

In my book(Principles of Physics by Resnick,Halliday,Walker) , the authors write: If $G$ - by some miracle - were suddenly increased by a factor of 10, you would be crushed to the floor by Earth's ...
0
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the point of the reduced Planck's constant $\hbar$ (h-bar)? - Why don't we just have Planck's Constant $h$?

I know that $ħ$ is $h / 2π$ - and that $h$ is the Planck Constant ($6.62606957 × 10^{-34}$ $Js$). But why don't we just use $h$ - is it that $ħ$ is used in Angular Momentum Calculations?