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Yukawa's Potential

  1. Feb 3, 2009 #1
    This may seem like a really obvious question to those that know it but...

    We looked at Yukawa's potential the other day, in the form [tex]W(r)=\frac{\alpha}{r}*e^{-Kr}[/tex], but our lecturer never explained what K and [tex]\alpha[/tex] actually are! I've looked on the net and all I can find is that they are constants. What does they actually stand for?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2009 #2


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    Roughly speaking, alpha is a constant representing the "strength" of the force... for the EM force it would be the fine structure constant. K is a constant representing the inverse of the range of the force [itex]R\approx \frac{\hbar}{Mc}[/itex]. (M is the mass of the mediating boson). For the EM force R would be infinite, so K would be 0.

    Ref: Particle Physics, Martin and Shaw, 3rd Ed.
  4. Feb 3, 2009 #3
    Ah, now that makes a lot of sense! Thanks very much!
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