What is fine structure constant? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

fine structure constant

Part of the IT standards and organizations glossary:

The fine structure constant measures the strength of the electromagnetic force that controls how charged elementary particles (such as electrons and photons) interact. Because the constant is nearly equal to 1/137, and because it is a dimensionless constant, some scientists have been led to wonder whether it has mathematical significance of its own, such as pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

The fine structure constant can be derived from other constants as follows:

 = e2 (2ohc)-1

where e is the elementary charge, o is the permittivity of free space, h is Planck's constant, and c is the speed of light. The constant is also equal to the ratio of the velocity v1 of the electron in the hydrogen atom to c, the speed of light.

This was last updated in May 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • business process

    - A business process is the flow of an activity -- or set of activities -- designed to accomplish a specific organizational goal. Business processes are often depicted visually with a flowchart showi... (SearchCIO.com)

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

    - The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol defines a mechanism to encrypt and maintain data integrity for communications over a network. (SearchSecurity.com)

  • mass (m)

    - Mass (symbolized m) is a dimensionless quantity representing the amount of matter in a particle or object. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • IT standards and organizations

    - Terms related to information technology (IT) standards, including definitions about IT organizations and words and phrases about policies and compliance.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.