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1answer
183 views

Is it true that no one, not even Planck himself, knows how Planck's Constant was arrived at?

Planck's Constant is said to be one of the smallest constants used in Physics. Some even say it is one of the imponderables – something that we know exists and is true but cannot be explained yet. I ...
2
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0answers
41 views

What is the constant appearing in the low energy action?

Usually one finds this expression for the low energy action $$S = \frac{1}{2\kappa_0^2}\int d^D X\; \sqrt{-G}\; \mathrm{e}^{-2\Phi}\,(R-\frac{1}{12}H_{\mu\nu\lambda}H^{\mu\nu\lambda}+4 ...
1
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1answer
78 views

Have the values of constants ever changed before?

Example sub-questions: Was the speed of light always that value? Was the acceleration due to gravity always been 9.8m/s/s? Etc By "change" I mean both actual change in the physical world because ...
2
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0answers
396 views

What prediction led to the vacuum catastrophe?

The disagreement between predicted and measured energy density of the vacuum is one of the great unsolved problems of science. According to this book the predicted energy density was obtained as ...
2
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2answers
106 views

The physical interpretation of Newton's constant $G$

It is well known that the speed of light $c$ can be interpreted as the speed limit for information propagation. Similarly, the Planck's constant $h$ is interpreted as the minimum quantum package of ...
38
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8answers
7k views

Why does the speed of light in vacuum have no uncertainty?

I could understand that the definition of a second wouldn't have an uncertainty when related to the transition of the Cs atom, so it doesn't have an error because it's an absolute reference and we ...
3
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2answers
910 views

The famous drop of $c$

In this, in my opinion, intriguing speech, Rupert Sheldrake, tells the story of the drop between the measured valued of $c$ in 1928 and 1945. When he goes to visit the Head of Metrology of the Physics ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Gravitational constant in higher dimensions?

From Newton's law of gravitation we know that $$F=G\frac{m_1m_2}{r^2}$$ where $G$ is gravitational constant. We can also see that it has dimensions $$[G]=\frac{[L]^3}{[M][T]^2}$$ and we have a ...
4
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1answer
311 views

Why is Planck mass much larger than the smallest mass that we actually know about?

The three fundamental constants $h$, $c$ and $G$ are manipulated and rearranged in different ways to get the Planck time, Planck mass etc. The Planck time is said to be the smallest time possible and ...
-2
votes
4answers
614 views

Why is the speed of light considered as a fundamental constant if its speed changes with medium resulting in refraction? [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light, the universal constant of gravitation and the Planck's constant are considered to be the three fundamental constants of the universe. But, why is speed of light ...
4
votes
2answers
269 views

Fundamental Constants in a theory of everything (TOE)

Do physicists ever expect to be able to derive the fundamental constants of nature from theory? For example, if string theory or some other theory unites the four forces, would the theory be ...
4
votes
3answers
424 views

What is the opposite of the Planck length?

What "large size" unit of length could be considered at the opposite end of spectrum from Planck's length? Is there a table of smallest and largest value for various physical quantities that can be ...
16
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4answers
3k views

What is so special about speed of light in vacuum?

I will try to be as explanatory as possible with my question. Please also note that I have done my share of googling and I am looking for simple language preferable with some example so that I can get ...
2
votes
0answers
309 views

Dimensional analysis to estimate order of magnitude of quantities

In the Coursera course From the Big Bang to Dark Energy on several occasions dimensional analysis was used to estimate the scale of quantities. This almost seems like a contradiction in terms to me, ...
9
votes
3answers
217 views

Is it possible to speak about changes in a physical constant which is not dimensionless?

Every so often, one sees on this site* or in the news† or in journal articles‡ a statement of the form "we have measured a change in such-and-such fundamental constant" (or, perhaps more commonly, "we ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Why are the classical electron radius, the Bohr radius and the Compton wavelength of an electron related to each other?

Using the definition of the fine-structure constant $\alpha = \frac{4 \pi \epsilon_0 \hbar c}{e^2}$ and the Compton wavelength of an electron $\lambda_c = \frac{h}{m_e c}$ the classical electron ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Eddington-Weinberg relation

The numerical coincidence that triggered Dirac to postulate his Large Number Hypothesis can be summarized by expressing the proton-electron gravitational angular momentum in units $\hbar c$: ...
5
votes
1answer
574 views

Additional merits to Wetterich's “Universe without expansion” compared to standard cosmological redshift interpretation?

A recent news item in Nature promotes Wetterich's preprint "A Universe without expansion". All sounds very exciting but hard to judge for non-experts. As I understand from the Nature's article, the ...
4
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0answers
150 views

Physics of Anathem

Disclaimer: I am not asking whether or not the events that occur in Anathem are possible. I understand that this book is a work of speculative science fiction and this site has no interest in it as ...
11
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1answer
582 views

Is the fine-structure constant a parameter of the standard model?

According to the wikipedia entry on the fine-structure constant: In fact, α is one of the about 20 empirical parameters in the Standard Model of particle physics, whose value is not determined ...
1
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1answer
71 views

Contact electricity and photoelectric effect

Most universities provide an experiment about the photoelectric effect to determine $h$ by measuring the stop voltage against the light frequency and calculating the slope $h/e$. But mostly they also ...
0
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1answer
168 views

Why Planck scale is so important?

I know that Planck scale is the scale where both, gravity and quantum effects are relevant simultaneously. Are there more reasons?
-4
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1answer
141 views

Describing physical constants in alternate wording; c = there can only be 671million miles of space for every second of time [closed]

This spawns from part of an answer to a question I asked. All sorts of things go to 0 and/or ∞ if you start boosting at c, and so you cannot boost into and out of a photon's frame. It ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Zero uncertainty constant and a unit change

So, we know the speed of light with zero uncertainty. We also know that values of $\epsilon_0$ (electric constant) and $\mu_0$ (magnetic constant) are known with zero uncertainty. My questions are ...
0
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0answers
166 views

Why there can't be infinitely small existing?

Why there can't be infinitely small existing? I am not suggesting it can or cannot. I am asking can there be an absolute or reasonable answer to that question.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the smallest existing thing in theory and law?

What is the smallest existing thing in theory and law?
8
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2answers
482 views

What constant varies in the fine structure constant?

Using the renormalization group approach, coupling constants are "running". If we apply this to the fine structure (coupling) constant, we do know that, e.g., at energies around the Z mass, $$\alpha ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

measure higher frequencies then half of Planck-frequency?

The maximum frequency is defined by the Planck frequency $\omega_P$. Also there is the Shannon theorem which tells us that to lossless capture a signal, you have to sample it with minimum of the ...
7
votes
0answers
203 views

Why is the Planck length the shortest measurable length? [duplicate]

I quote from the Wikipedia article on Planck length: According to the generalized uncertainty principle, the Planck length is in principle, within a factor of order unity, the shortest ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

Units for physical constants

Someone told me that units for $G$ and $\epsilon_0$ (gravitational constant and Coulomb's constant) are placed there simply to make equations work dimensionally and that there is no real physical ...
3
votes
3answers
220 views

Curious relation between the dependance in ℏ of Planck units and units dimensions

Looking at Planck units, there seems to be a curious rule between the dependance in $\hbar$ of a Planck unit and the unit dimensions of the corresponding physical quantity. Let the dimensions of the ...
1
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0answers
113 views

Has unnaturalness motivated new ideas in physics?

The cosmological constant problem arises because the natural scale of the cosmological constant is $10^{120}$ times larger than what we observe. This implies that the dimensionless constant is much ...
14
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6answers
4k views

Why does the speed of light $c$ have the value it does?

Why does light have the speed it does? why is it not considerably faster or slower than it is? I can't imagine science, being what it is, not pursuing a rational scientific explanation for the speed ...
2
votes
2answers
348 views

Newton's Law of Graviation: Why $G$ and not e.g. $\dfrac{1}{4\pi G_0}$?

I've been wondering, in Coulomb's Law, $k_e = \dfrac{1}{4\pi\epsilon_0}$. Therefore, why do we use $G$ in Newton's Law of Gravitation? What if the constant is more like Coulomb's Law, e.g. $G = ...
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1answer
131 views

Hubble Constant and Planck Constant

Has there been any effort to understand Hubble's limit as a quantum phenomenon? It seems like they are suggesting the same thing.
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1answer
393 views

Where the fine structure constant $\alpha$ is speed parameter of electron $\beta_e$, How can it be a constant?

The fine structure constant $\alpha$ actually is speed parameter of electron $\beta_e$, moving around proton in hydrogen atom. $v_n=\frac {\alpha_c}{n}=c\frac {\alpha}{n}=c\frac {\beta_e}{n}$ How ...
-4
votes
1answer
166 views

How do I publish a physical constant [closed]

I think what i've found is a physical constant that is a physical quantity, universal in nature and constant in time. but It contrasted with a mathematical constant, which is a fixed mathematical ...
17
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6answers
3k views

How can the speed of light be a dimensionless constant?

This is a quote from the book A first course in general relativity by Schutz: What we shall now do is adopt a new unit for time, the meter. One meter of time is the time it takes light to travel ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Could one argue that h (Planck constant) and $\hbar$/2 (Dirac constant) are in fact independant constants?

My question is very naive and could sound strange but it seems to me natural in so far as the Planck constant is related to the first quantization (of newtonian particle mechanics/galilean relativity) ...
6
votes
3answers
324 views

Is there a simple way to compute some physical constant from Feynman diagram statistics?

I've been playing around writing some software to generate Feynman diagrams for QED, respecting the vertex "rules" described here, and avoiding creating isomorphic duplicates. So from a starter ...
2
votes
2answers
937 views

What is the real interpretation of Planck's constant and what are its origins?

In the physics texts I have read and from other online information, I gather that Planck's constant is the quantum of action or that it is a constant specifying the ratio of the energy of a particle ...
9
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3answers
3k views

Have I discovered how to calculate the proton's mass using only integers?

Could it be possible that the mass of the proton can be calculated by a series of integer sequences? Or is this just a curiosity? $$\sum_{m=1}^{\infty } \frac{1}{10^{26}(m^2+1)_{2m}}=$$ ...
3
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5answers
355 views

Is the gravitational constant $G$ a fundamental universal constant?

Is the gravitational constant $G$ a fundamental universal constant like Planck constant $h$ and the speed of light $c$?
5
votes
1answer
331 views

Definition of Fine-Tuning

I've looked in and out the forum, and found no precise definition of the meaning of fine-tuning in physics. QUESTION Is it possible to give a precise definition of fine-tuning? Of course, I guess ...
4
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5answers
2k views

Planck mass is about the mass of one eyebrow hair

Unlike most Planck units named after "Planck" such as Planck length, Planck temperature, etc, the Planck mass seems more closed to daily life. It is about $10^{-5}$g, same order of magnitude of one ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

How is charge measured and mass of the electron at the same time?

There are few constants that usually come together, $e/m$ also $h/e$. How are they decoupled? If the speed of light is "derived" as Wikipedia states how meter defined and time?
2
votes
3answers
613 views

Planck time, distance, mass? Why do we take those values?

Say we want to make an educated guess for critical values of time, distance and mass, where quantum gravity effects are supposed to be non-negligible. These values are given the prefix "Planck-". Now, ...
1
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3answers
633 views

The vacuum light speed: Is it really constant, i.e., independent of location in space-time?

I am by no means an expert in this field, however something puzzles me about the speed of light and the relativity of time and space (space-time). Is is universally acknowledged that the speed of ...
7
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3answers
350 views

why there is no accuracy of the measured value of $G$?

With the advancement of Modern Technology still there is no accuracy of the measured value of $G$ Gravitational Constant, why!?
4
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1answer
143 views

Official definition of astronomical units

As it is relatively easy to find an official value for a large number of physical constants, (thanks to CODATA), it is not so easy for some units widely used in astronomy (Wikipedia, Google and IAU ...