What is the most important constant in physics?

  • Thread starter split
  • Start date

What is the most important constant in physics?

  • g

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • e

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • pi

    Votes: 8 36.4%
  • c (speed of light)

    Votes: 8 36.4%
  • other

    Votes: 3 13.6%

  • Total voters
    22
  • #1
split
25
0
So, what is it?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
split
25
0
Let's make it "what is your favorite constant?" All of these constants are important for different reasons.
 
  • #3
Ambitwistor
841
1
Need more options

I wanted to vote for 0. Or maybe 1.
 
  • #4
meister
56
0
What about the universal gravitation constant?


Voted c.
 
  • #5
StephenPrivitera
363
0
Pi is great because it comes up everywhere. Pi is especially great on Thanksgiving... mmmm...
I have to agree with Ambitwistor. 0 and 1 are pretty important too, but they're not as natural as pi. By that I mean, pi is a constant of nature (if you consider geometry a part of nature). 0 and 1 we made up. If either were an option, I would have hesitated.
 
  • #6
turin
Homework Helper
2,323
3
e and pi are not physical constants, they are mathematical constants. I suppose you could say that that makes them physical constants by default, but my point is that c, for instance, is NOT a mathematical constant. In that regard, I would have to say that e and pi are more important than any other physical constant, but that they are equally important to each other.
 
  • #7
mceddy2001
21
0
e is the most significant (e is the charge of an electron right?)

If there was not speed limit of nature it wouldn't really affect our lives as much if there was no charge then we would sink through the floor since the molecules wouldn't have a intermolecular relationship keeping them rigid, there would be no elements, no chemestry.

g isn't really a constant is it. as soon as we blast a spaceship off the planet, then the g of the planet is going to change ever so slightly since its mass has changed. Without g I am going to assume that by u mean g being important means that if it weren't existent there wud b no gravity.

We cud live without gravity quite happily, life wud be a bit more consvative.

Wow I am tired and off 2 bed
 
  • #8
nbo10
418
5
alpha, of course

fine structure constant.

JMD
 
  • #9
Ambitwistor
841
1
If we're talking about actual, experimentally measured physical constants, and not just mathematical constants like π and e, then I don't really take dimensional constants to be truly fundamental. Of the dimensionless constants, I'd also vote for the fine structure constant α. See:

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/constants.html
 
Last edited:
  • #10
FZ+
1,599
3
What about h? h-bar? i?
 
  • #11
bdkeenan00
50
0
Originally posted by FZ+
What about h? h-bar? i?

I agree, what about Planck's constant? Seems like an important constant to me.

P.S. h-bar is important but it is h/2pi(I think). So you would have to have that important constant pi to have h-bar. For this reason I would put pi above h-bar as a more important constant.
 
  • #12
Ambitwistor
841
1
Originally posted by bdkeenan00
P.S. h-bar is important but it is h/2pi(I think). So you would have to have that important constant pi to have h-bar.

No, you don't need π to define hbar. You could take hbar as fundamental, and define h = hbar * 2π, and then it would be h which requires π. In fact, hbar is really more fundamental than h; it's what appears in the canonical commutation relations which are the foundation of quantum theory.
 
  • #13
bdkeenan00
50
0
Originally posted by Ambitwistor
In fact, hbar is really more fundamental than h; it's what appears in the canonical commutation relations which are the foundation of quantum theory. [/B]

Oh really? I didn't know that. I guess you learn something new everyday.
 
  • #14
due to the length contraction etc. you might think it's c

but length contraction seldom appears in real life
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #15
I think it's e (as I wrote before)

Look.
c can be changed, pi is used for circles and similar figures,
g variates and G is not included.

The right answer is e, cause e^ix = cos(x) + isin(x), D(e^x)= e^x etc.
e^i2(pi)= 1
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #16
bdkeenan00
50
0


Originally posted by QuantumNet
c can be changed


How exactly do you change c? Sounds fishy to me.
 
  • #17


Originally posted by bdkeenan00
How exactly do you change c? Sounds fishy to me.

you put c to 1 and E = m and x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = t^2 etc.
 

Suggested for: What is the most important constant in physics?

Replies
4
Views
508
Replies
6
Views
435
Replies
3
Views
653
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
749
Replies
11
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
79
Views
3K
Top