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Fine-structure Constant
In physics, the fine-structure constant, also known as the Sommerfeld constant, commonly denoted by (the Greek letter ''alpha''), is a fundamental physical constant which quantifies the strength of the electromagnetic interaction between elementary charged particles. It is a dimensionless quantity, independent of the system of units used, which is related to the strength of the coupling of an elementary charge ''e'' with the electromagnetic field, by the formula . Its numerical value is approximately , with a relative uncertainty of The constant was named by Arnold Sommerfeld, who introduced it in 1916 Equation 12a, ''"rund 7·" (about ...)'' when extending the Bohr model of the atom. quantified the gap in the fine structure of the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom, which had been measured precisely by Michelson and Morley in 1887. Definition In terms of other fundamental physical constants, may be defined as: \alpha = \frac = \frac , where * is the elementary c ...
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Physics
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular succession of events." Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, with its main goal being to understand how the universe behaves. "Physics is one of the most fundamental of the sciences. Scientists of all disciplines use the ideas of physics, including chemists who study the structure of molecules, paleontologists who try to reconstruct how dinosaurs walked, and climatologists who study how human activities affect the atmosphere and oceans. Physics is also the foundation of all engineering and technology. No engineer could design a flat-screen TV, an interplanetary spacecraft, or even a better mousetrap without first understanding the basic laws of phys ...
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Quantum Electrodynamics
In particle physics, quantum electrodynamics (QED) is the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics. In essence, it describes how light and matter interact and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved. QED mathematically describes all phenomena involving electrically charged particles interacting by means of exchange of photons and represents the quantum counterpart of classical electromagnetism giving a complete account of matter and light interaction. In technical terms, QED can be described as a perturbation theory of the electromagnetic quantum vacuum. Richard Feynman called it "the jewel of physics" for its extremely accurate predictions of quantities like the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron and the Lamb shift of the energy levels of hydrogen. History The first formulation of a quantum theory describing radiation and matter interaction is attributed to British scientist Paul Dirac, w ...
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Natural Units
In physics, natural units are physical units of measurement in which only universal physical constants are used as defining constants, such that each of these constants acts as a coherent unit of a quantity. For example, the elementary charge may be used as a natural unit of electric charge, and the speed of light may be used as a natural unit of speed. A purely natural system of units has all of its units defined such that each of these can be expressed as a product of powers of defining physical constants. Through nondimensionalization, physical quantities may then redefined so that the defining constants can be omitted from mathematical expressions of physical laws, and while this has the apparent advantage of simplicity, it may entail a loss of clarity due to the loss of information for dimensional analysis. It precludes the interpretation of an expression in terms of constants, such as and , unless it is ''known'' which units (in dimensionful units) the expression is su ...
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Coulomb Constant
The Coulomb constant, the electric force constant, or the electrostatic constant (denoted , or ) is a proportionality constant in electrostatics equations. In SI base units it is equal to .Derived from ''k''e = 1/(4''πε''0) – It was named after the French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (1736–1806) who introduced Coulomb's law. Value of the constant The Coulomb constant is the constant of proportionality in Coulomb's law, :\mathbf = k_\text\frac\mathbf_r where is a unit vector in the -direction. In SI: : k_\text = \frac, where \varepsilon_0 is the vacuum permittivity. This formula can be derived from Gauss's law, Gauss' law, : Taking this integral for a sphere, radius , centered on a point charge, the electric field points radially outwards and is normal to a differential Differential (infinitesimal), surface element on the sphere with constant magnitude for all points on the sphere. : Noting that for some test charge , :\begin \mathbf &= \frac\frac\m ...
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International System Of Units
The International System of Units, known by the international abbreviation SI in all languages and sometimes pleonastically as the SI system, is the modern form of the metric system and the world's most widely used system of measurement. Established and maintained by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM), it is the only system of measurement with an official status in nearly every country in the world, employed in science, technology, industry, and everyday commerce. The SI comprises a coherent system of units of measurement starting with seven base units, which are the second (symbol s, the unit of time), metre (m, length), kilogram (kg, mass), ampere (A, electric current), kelvin (K, thermodynamic temperature), mole (mol, amount of substance), and candela (cd, luminous intensity). The system can accommodate coherent units for an unlimited number of additional quantities. These are called coherent derived units, which can always be represented ...
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2019 Redefinition Of The SI Base Units
In 2019, four of the seven SI base units specified in the International System of Quantities were redefined in terms of natural physical constants, rather than human artifacts such as the standard kilogram. Effective 20 May 2019, the 144th anniversary of the Metre Convention, the kilogram, ampere, kelvin, and mole are now defined by setting exact numerical values, when expressed in SI units, for the Planck constant ('), the elementary electric charge ('), the Boltzmann constant (), and the Avogadro constant (), respectively. The second, metre, and candela had previously been redefined using physical constants. The four new definitions aimed to improve the SI without changing the value of any units, ensuring continuity with existing measurements. In November 2018, the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) unanimously approved these changes, The conference ran from 13–16 November and the vote on the redefinition was scheduled for the last day. Kazakhsta ...
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Electric Constant
Vacuum permittivity, commonly denoted (pronounced "epsilon nought" or "epsilon zero"), is the value of the absolute dielectric permittivity of classical vacuum. It may also be referred to as the permittivity of free space, the electric constant, or the distributed capacitance of the vacuum. It is an ideal (baseline) physical constant. Its CODATA value is: : (farads per meter), with a relative uncertainty of It is a measure of how dense of an electric field is "permitted" to form in response to electric charges, and relates the units for electric charge to mechanical quantities such as length and force. For example, the force between two separated electric charges with spherical symmetry (in the vacuum of classical electromagnetism) is given by Coulomb's law: :F_\text = \frac \frac Here, ''q''1 and ''q''2 are the charges, ''r'' is the distance between their centres, and the value of the constant fraction 1/4 \pi \varepsilon_0 (known as the Coulomb constant, ''k''e) is app ...
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Speed Of Light
The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted , is a universal physical constant that is important in many areas of physics. The speed of light is exactly equal to ). According to the special theory of relativity, is the upper limit for the speed at which conventional matter or energy (and thus any signal carrying information) can travel through space. All forms of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light, travel at the speed of light. For many practical purposes, light and other electromagnetic waves will appear to propagate instantaneously, but for long distances and very sensitive measurements, their finite speed has noticeable effects. Starlight viewed on Earth left the stars many years ago, allowing humans to study the history of the universe by viewing distant objects. When communicating with distant space probes, it can take minutes to hours for signals to travel from Earth to the spacecraft and vice versa. In computing, the speed of light fixes the ...
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Reduced Planck Constant
The Planck constant, or Planck's constant, is a fundamental physical constant of foundational importance in quantum mechanics. The constant gives the relationship between the energy of a photon and its frequency, and by the mass-energy equivalence, the relationship between mass and frequency. Specifically, a photon's energy is equal to its frequency multiplied by the Planck constant. The constant is generally denoted by h. The reduced Planck constant, or Dirac constant, equal to the constant divided by 2 \pi, is denoted by \hbar. In metrology it is used, together with other constants, to define the kilogram, the SI unit of mass. The SI units are defined in such a way that, when the Planck constant is expressed in SI units, it has the exact value The constant was first postulated by Max Planck in 1900 as part of a solution to the ultraviolet catastrophe. At the end of the 19th century, accurate measurements of the spectrum of black body radiation existed, but the distribu ...
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Planck Constant
The Planck constant, or Planck's constant, is a fundamental physical constant of foundational importance in quantum mechanics. The constant gives the relationship between the energy of a photon and its frequency, and by the mass-energy equivalence, the relationship between mass and frequency. Specifically, a photon's energy is equal to its frequency multiplied by the Planck constant. The constant is generally denoted by h. The reduced Planck constant, or Dirac constant, equal to the constant divided by 2 \pi, is denoted by \hbar. In metrology it is used, together with other constants, to define the kilogram, the SI unit of mass. The SI units are defined in such a way that, when the Planck constant is expressed in SI units, it has the exact value The constant was first postulated by Max Planck in 1900 as part of a solution to the ultraviolet catastrophe. At the end of the 19th century, accurate measurements of the spectrum of black body radiation existed, but the distr ...
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National Institute Of Standards And Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce whose mission is to promote American innovation and industrial competitiveness. NIST's activities are organized into physical science laboratory programs that include nanoscale science and technology, engineering, information technology, neutron research, material measurement, and physical measurement. From 1901 to 1988, the agency was named the National Bureau of Standards. History Background The Articles of Confederation, ratified by the colonies in 1781, provided: The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states—fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States. Article 1, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1789, granted these powers to the new Con ...
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Physical Constant
A physical constant, sometimes fundamental physical constant or universal constant, is a physical quantity that is generally believed to be both universal in nature and have constant value in time. It is contrasted with a mathematical constant, which has a fixed numerical value, but does not directly involve any physical measurement. There are many physical constants in science, some of the most widely recognized being the speed of light in a vacuum ''c'', the gravitational constant ''G'', the Planck constant ''h'', the electric constant ''ε''0, and the elementary charge ''e''. Physical constants can take many dimensional forms: the speed of light signifies a maximum speed for any object and its dimension is length divided by time; while the fine-structure constant ''α'', which characterizes the strength of the electromagnetic interaction, is dimensionless. The term ''fundamental physical constant'' is sometimes used to refer to universal-but-dimensioned physical constan ...
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