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Smilga paper, in which he derives an estimate to the fine structure constant

  1. Aug 2, 2007 #1
    I've been trying to figure out this paper by W. Smilga: Spin foams, causal links, and geometry-induced interactions

    I don't have the knowledge and background to be able to determine whether his derivation of an estimate to the fine structure constant is interesting, or just a trick.

    I am referring to XIV: Estimate of the Coupling Constant. Through some mathematics I don't understand yet, he gets a value for the fine structure constant of 1/137.03608245, which agrees to the real value "in five parts in ten-million".

    What is the consensus of the physics community on this? Is it just numerology?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2007 #2


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    no way. no f-ing way. When Eddington went crazy he started trying to do that too.
  4. Aug 22, 2007 #3


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    What is amusing is that the calculation is presented as a vindication of Tony's models.
  5. Aug 22, 2007 #4


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    To save some time:

    Smilga says that it rederivates Wyler formula, which is claimed to be a quotient of volumes
    8 \pi^2 {V(D_5)^{1/4} \over V(S_4) V(C_5)}
    to be compared with [itex]\alpha / \pi[/itex]

    The objects [itex]C_5,D_5,S_4[/itex] being some symmetric spaces. These volumes are claimed to evaluate, respectively, to [tex]{8 \pi^3 \over 3}, {\pi^5 \over 2^4 5!}, {8 \pi^2 \over 3}[/tex]
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
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