Constants of nature

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  • #1
star apple

Main Question or Discussion Point

If supposed you could locally change any constant of nature in a test area in the lab say the the size of aquarium and you put a marble inside.. could you make the marble bigger and smaller, heavier or lighter by adjusting any of the parameters? or even make the marble explode? What would happen in such case? Please mention all combinations with different constant of nature parameters values and share what you think would happen. Thanks.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Note that you can only change dimensionless constants in a meaningful way.

Changing the electron mass (its coupling to the Higgs) would change the size of the marble (lighter -> larger).
Changing the fine-structure constant would change its size as well, but potentially make it radioactive (and if you make it too radioactive, it explodes).
Making the strong interaction significantly weaker would make it radioactive or would make it explode directly. Making it stronger shouldn't have a strong effect.

"Heavier" and "lighter" needs an interaction with the outside world where it is unclear how that is supposed to look like (do we use the constants for the marble or the constants for Earth?).

Most constants wouldn't have a relevant impact as they only apply to particles not present in the marble.
Please mention all combinations with different constant of nature parameters values and share what you think would happen.
There are millions of combinations.
 
  • #3
star apple
Note that you can only change dimensionless constants in a meaningful way.
why didn't you mention "dimensionfull constants".. can't you change dimensionfull constants in a meaningful way? why? any example?

Changing the electron mass (its coupling to the Higgs) would change the size of the marble (lighter -> larger).
Changing the fine-structure constant would change its size as well, but potentially make it radioactive (and if you make it too radioactive, it explodes).
Making the strong interaction significantly weaker would make it radioactive or would make it explode directly. Making it stronger shouldn't have a strong effect.

"Heavier" and "lighter" needs an interaction with the outside world where it is unclear how that is supposed to look like (do we use the constants for the marble or the constants for Earth?).

Most constants wouldn't have a relevant impact as they only apply to particles not present in the marble.There are millions of combinations.
 
  • #4
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Moving this thread to science fiction because of its potential.

The notion of changing the key parameters can be done in a myriad of ways far too many to discuss meaningfully here. However, any one such combination could be the basis for some science fiction story yet to be written.

Let’s try to keep the discussion simple and focused from peer reviewed papers only even while it may be somewhat too speculative for PF.
 
  • #5
star apple
Moving this thread to science fiction because of its potential.

The notion of changing the key parameters can be done in a myriad of ways far too many to discuss meaningfully here. However, any one such combination could be the basis for some science fiction story yet to be written.

Let’s try to keep the discussion simple and focused from peer reviewed papers only even while it may be somewhat too speculative for PF.
All right.
Dear creative team. What constant of nature alteration can you make that can make the marble float inside the aquarium size localized sector where you can change any constant of natures and see the effect?
 
  • #6
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9,326
why didn't you mention "dimensionfull constants".. can't you change dimensionfull constants in a meaningful way? why? any example?
Changing other constants is like changing the mile to kilometer conversion. A mile is now 2 km long. So what? That doesn't change the marble at all. It just changes the unit system without impact on the physical system.
 
  • #7
star apple
Changing other constants is like changing the mile to kilometer conversion. A mile is now 2 km long. So what? That doesn't change the marble at all. It just changes the unit system without impact on the physical system.
Can you please give an example of what you meant that "Changing other constants is like changing the mile to kilometer conversion."? What were you referring to? Is it about dimensionful constants that I was asking? If so.. why would changing dimensionful constants be like changing mile to kilometer? Please give an example to illustrate the idea. Thank you.
 
  • #8
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All dimensionful constants are just like the "fundamental constant" X = 1.60934 miles/km. Just conversions between units where we could have chosen the same units but did not for practical reasons or our lack of knowledge when they were introduced.
 

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