Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 16:25:26 -0500

Author: "Anthony Lapinski"

Subject: Re: mental gymnastics


Yea, I originally thought about the 1/137. However, most of the phrases
are for "familiar" high-school-level courses. I'm not sure if "Alpha" is
the right answer. Maybe there's a typo, but I doubt it. Frustrating! writes:
>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