Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 14:29:58 -0500

Author: "Jason St. John"

Subject: Re: mental gymnastics


Could "1/127 = A" refer to alpha, the fine structure constant? It looked
familiar, but I realize that the usual value is 1/137 or so. Until:

I read that "It is worth noting that the fine-structure 'constant' isn't
really a constant. The effective electric charge of the electron actually
varies slightly with energy so the constant changes a bit depending on the
energy scale at which you perform your experiment. For example, 1/137 is
its value when you do an experiment at very low energies (like Millikan's
oil drop experiment) but for experiments at large particle-accelerator
energies its value grows to 1/128."

Answered by: Brent Nelson, M.A. Physics, Ph.D. Student, UC Berkeley

I learned something new, and maybe found an answer. maybe.

Jason St. John 617.353.2634
Boston University Physics Lecture Demonstrations