# Fine structures constant

1. Jun 17, 2005

### Raparicio

Does anybody knows a good reference or book that explains the "fine structure constant"?

2. Jun 17, 2005

### Andrew Mason

3. Jun 18, 2005

### Raparicio

4. Jun 18, 2005

### Andrew Mason

The fine structure constant is just a dimensionless number:

$$\alpha = \frac{e^2}{2hc\epsilon_0}$$

Its significance is somewhat of a mystery. You won't find a very good answer to that question.

The current debate seems to be whether the fine structure constant has changed since the beginning of the universe. see: this recent article.

http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/%7Emim/res.html [Broken] should also help.

AM

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
5. Jun 18, 2005

### Raparicio

I don't knew that was a mistery... but now understand that my question is not only mine. Thanks for all.