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The Physical Meaning of the Fine Structure Constant

The Possible Solution of the 20-th Century Mystery

George Kirakosyan

Full version: PDF, 135 кб

The named fundamental constant of microcosm α ≈ 1 / 137 was introduced in physics in 20s by Arnold Sommerfeld, to describe the energy sublevels observed experimentally in the emission spectra of atoms. Many other manifestations of the same constant ratio in a variety of phenomena associated with the interactions of elementary particles have since been identified. Leading physicists of that time gradually realized the profound significance and the enormous role of this constant number both in the world of elementary particles and in the structure of our universe in general. From this perspective, it is sufficient to say only that all the basic properties and characteristics of the objects of the microworld – the size of electron orbits in atoms, binding energies between elementary particles and atoms, and thus, all the physical and chemical properties of matter are determined by the magnitude of this constant. Later, using the named constant, it was possible to develop a very productive, formal theory – the modern «Quantum Electrodynamics» (QED), describing the quantum electromagnetic interaction with fantastic accuracy.

From the aforesaid we can judge the whole importance of the problem and clarify the physical meaning of the causal mechanism of this constant, which is an open question in physics, since it was discovered. In the language of the theorists, the solution of this problem means – to call that original concept of the named constant, based on which, consistent calculations can come to its experimentally established value. The significance of the posed question can be judged from the humorous saying of the world renowned physicist Wolfgang Pauli: «When I die, the first thing I shall consider asking devil is – what is the meaning of the Fine Structure Constant?» Richard Feynman believed the very existence of this mysterious number «An anathema to all physicists» and advised good theorists «to engrave it on their walls and to always think about it».

The introduced issue became so important, especially in the sense that the named constant is directly related to the problem of understanding the physical nature of elementary particles, as it manifests itself not separately from them but as their in-depth property. Therefore, many physicists, for long years, persistently tried to solve this great problem by using different approaches and methods. But, so far all their efforts were not successful.

What the author has to propose in this regard? – He just managed to find that the solution of the of the «20th century mystery» in fact exists in our directories and well-known formulas relating to waves, unless carefully counted! This means that α is a classical wave constant. This is the essence of the submitted article. But we should be warned that the simplest explanation may meet misunderstanding, if initially one is not inclined to listen to what he is proposed to. As experience has shown, the described solution was perceived by many experts with much difficulty, though the correctness of the result is accepted.

What is the reason of this hindrance? Unfortunately, today’s leading theorists overrely on the formal mathematical theories (which were initially meant to be intermediate possible shifts only) and have already well forgotten about the existence of unresolved fundamental dilemma of – the particle / wave in physics. As a result, today you will rarely find a physicist who will not be strongly surprised by the approach of the author and his belief – to present the particle as a localized standing wave (although officially it is totally allowed – by the same unresolved dilemma!). The many indisputable authorities of physics (Einstein, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, etc.) came to the analogical conclusion long ago under the pressure of weighty arguments.

In the author’s opinion, the submitted work and the achieved result may be an important indication of the rightness of the beliefs of physics’ giants. However, this conclusion in its time was dramatically ignored by the majority of counterparts (because it could not obtain the necessary results, confirming the fidelity of this reasoning) and as a consequence, to state it mildly, physics proceeded in a «not very effective» way. The proposed solution may be the key to identifying the physical nature of elementary particles and thereby, opening a clear path to the description of the microworld – an alternative to modern formal phenomenological theories. However, the decisive word here belongs to conceiving experts – theorists, who as do we hope exist and will give an objective evaluation to the presented work.


Date of the publication:

December 7, 2010

Electronic version:

© NiT. Current publications, 1997