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7
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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
2answers
216 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
475 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
101 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
68 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
173 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 ...
38
votes
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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
8
votes
17answers
2k views

The origin of the value of speed of light

Meaning, why is it the exact number that it is? Why not 2x10^8 m/s instead of 3? Does it have something to do with the mass, size or behavior of a photon? To be clear, I'm not asking "how we ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Can all laws of physics derived by a single or lists of more general laws?

(This is actually my first question - please understand my lack of knowledge and bad English..) I have always been curious about deriving thousands of laws from more general ones.. Can general laws ...
3
votes
0answers
55 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
5answers
248 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
568 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

How to get Planck length

I know that what Planck length equals to. The first question is, how do you get the formula $$\ell_P~=~\sqrt\frac{\hbar G}{c^3}$$ that describes the Planck length? The second question is, will any ...
37
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
3answers
621 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 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
112 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
88 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
1answer
68 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
216 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
56 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?
1
vote
1answer
126 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
53 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
81 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
48 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
108 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
61 views
7
votes
3answers
323 views

Why is Planck's constant the same for all particles?

This question came to me while reading Where does de Broglie wavelength $\lambda=h/p$ for massive particles come from? This question has a nice answer that explains that wave number has be ...
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) ...
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
36 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
87 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
52 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
38 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
1answer
79 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
150 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 ...
16
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views
0
votes
0answers
77 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
173 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
114 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
22 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
248 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? ...