Talk:Fine-structure constant/Archive 2

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Another physical aspect

The Schwinger effect: there can't be isolated point-like charged particles of more than 1/α (about 137) unit charges because an electric field that strong leads to pair creation of which one particle gets bound in the lowest possible energy state the other one escapes.

This can theoretically occur when shooting heavy nuclei at each other, creating temporary ultra-heavy cores (however, as nuclei aren't point-like but have a volume, it requires about 170 protons for the effect to occur) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:14, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Unclear paragraph on non-notable result

I've removed the following paragraph, which was added repeatedly:

It was recently discovered another property of the fine structure constant: arrange special one-dimensional chaotic dynamics. [9], [10]
  1. D.B. Volov, Specific behaviour of one chaotic dynamics near the fine-structure constant // arXiv:1205.6091v1.[
  2. D.B. Volov, The generalized Verhulst-Ricker-Plank dynamics and its relation to the fine-structure constant // Bulletin of Volga Region Transportation # 4 (28), 67 (2011). [1]

This is not only unclear, but in my opinion also thoroughly nonnotable. People have tried zillions of calculations to "explain" the numerical value of the fine-structure constant, and non-surprisingly some came out somewhere near 137 or its inverse. The result referred to does not stand out in any way among this fringe. No plausible connection grounded in any physics theory is offered for a connection between the dynamic system considered and electromagnetic interaction. The anonymous IP adding this geolocates to the same city in Russia where Mr. Volov's institute is located, so a COI is plausible.  --Lambiam 13:58, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Yea! I was about to check this out, but hadn't gotten around to it. Thanks Lambian. (talk) 19:26, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Eddington's Wish...

1/137 is actually quite a special number- expressed in decimal notation it shows palindromic repeats, and in fact the largest length palindromic repeats (6 units) for at least 50,000 whole integer denominators, when both numerator and denominator are whole integers. Thus it is very curious that the FSC is so close to it. Also makes one wonder whether deviation FROM this fraction has other causes, which distort what it *should* be ideally. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:35, 7 June 2012 (UTC)


The best experimentally determined value is 137.035999084(51). The value below lies well within the uncertainty of that.

Note that

--Vibritannia (talk) 11:28, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Consider also: 4π32+π = 137.036303775878 less accurate but simpler.

((e * cos(137035.9991232535539893 radians)) - 1) / phi = 1 D. E. Fuller — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

The Fine Structure Constant is likely governed by Primitive Pythagorean Triples that form n^2 Multiples by: Brian Nelson

Integer based derivations of Einstein's relativistic mass-energy equation and deBroglie's wave equation suggest the Compton and deBroglie wavelengths are governed by a Pythagorean triple whose multiples provide orbital stability by maximizing the overlap between the interlaced waves. A systematic search across the uncertainty range of the Fine Structure Constant reciprocal (137.035999084(51)) results in a single primitive Pythagorean Triple that forms 9X the number of n^2 multiples above any other primitive triple suggesting it is the exact value of this constant:

      1/∝= 137.035999065849 

see more at

Brian d nelson (talk) 18:09, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Note that this article talk page is for discussions about the article, not about the subject. See wp:TPG. - DVdm (talk) 18:41, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Article needs update

The article needs updating with the latest experimental-QED determination of the fine structure constant:

Aoyama, T., Hayakawa, M., Kinoshita, T. & Nio, M. "Tenth-Order QED Contribution to the Electron g-2 and an Improved Value of the Fine Structure Constant," Physical Review Letters, 109, 111807 (2012) arXiv:1205.5368v2. "This Letter presents the complete QED contribution to the electron g-2 up to the tenth order. With the help of the automatic code generator, we evaluate all 12 672 diagrams of the tenth-order diagrams and obtain ... The improved value of the fine-structure constant 1/α = 137.035 999 173 (35) [0.25 ppb] is also derived from the theory and measurement of ae." Alphatronic (talk) 16:54, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

FSC as a mass ratio

The ratio of the anti-matter pair electron-positron to the charged pi-meson mass produces a number which is not terribly far off from the fine structure constant: 2m_e/pi^+- = 0.00732247. The electron mass is well determined precisely and accurately by 2010 Codata (it is very good) from the NIST while the charged pion mass determination is from the Particle Data Group (PDG). If the PDG value is not as good as it should be maybe a future determination will bring it in line with the FSC. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

New addition

I am somewhat concerned about a [significant addition to the article 2 days ago] by IP . It appears to promote and reference from:

G. Poelz, retired from Hamburg University, Institute of Exp. Physics, Hamburg, Germany

and draws from no other references. The IP is also from Hamburg. I don't have a problem specifically with the content, because I cannot evaluate the quality or veracity of the content. So I am leaving it alone and leaving it to other people do evaluate. (talk) 15:54, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Can be removed per no secondary sources for it. - DVdm (talk) 17:11, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

"Unity" formula for the Fine Structure constant reciprocal

With relative discrepancy 6.5×10−8 in respect to the Fine Structure constant recommended value
next equality is observed

Mikhail Vlasov
Korablino (talk) 00:03, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Oooooooooh, nice one! If only it was a bit closer (gives 137.03600793921456). --Vibritannia (talk) 13:07, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Anthropic explanation

Checking the article (, I see :

"If, instead, we consider the allowed variations in the strength of the strong nuclear force, αs, and α then roughly αs < 0.3α^1/2 is required for the stability of biologically useful elements like carbon. If we increase αs by 4 percent, there is disaster because the helium-2 isotope can exist (it just fails to be bound by about 70 KeV in practice) and allows very fast direct proton + proton → helium-2 fusion. Stars would rapidly exhaust their fuel and collapse to degenerate states or black holes. In contrast, if αs were decreased by about 10 percent, then the deuterium nucleus would cease to be bound, and the nuclear astrophysical pathways to the build up of biological elements would be blocked."

in the text I think there is a confusion between alpha and alpha_s. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Shape of Spinning Electron: how to extract Fine Structure Constant from Proton-to-Electron Mass Ratio

Geometrical model of spinning electron:
n-sided polygon with rounded corners.
Unit of length corresponds to diameter of proton.

Article describes a contour of spinning electron and derives a value of the Fine Structure constant from Proton-to-Electron mass ratio on basis of the facts that both electron and proton have equal spin angular momentum while proton is heavier than electron more than 1836 times.
It appears from suggested model that the path of rotating electron is shaped as hardware nut (regular polygon) with 137 sides and rounded corners.
Numerical outcome of the model: electron’s spin circumference is 137.035999118… times longer than diameter of spinning proton. It is proven that this ratio is physically the Fine Structure constant. The result is located right on the upper boundary of the CODATA Fine Structure constant reciprocal recommended value range.
Key formula for the number of sides n in polygon formed by electron’s spinning body:

where                                        - Proton-to-electron mass ratio.

Solution for the Fine Structure constant reciprocal:


- number of sides in polygon formed by electron’s spinning body;
- angle of polygon corner rounding.

Mikhail Vlasov
Korablino (talk) 19:25, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Dispute over value of alpha in "Is the fine-structure constant actually constant?"

I edited the value to be 1/137, consistent with the rest of the article and the quoted link but my edit was reversed to 1/128 by Alphatronic.Yehoshua2 (talk) 22:53, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

The source says 1/137 with a marker to the footnote "At Q2 = 0. At Q2 ≈ m2W the value is ∼ 1/128". - DVdm (talk) 06:44, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
But 1/137 seems to be more fundamental, as it is the main listed value; anyway it should be 1/137 to maintain consistency throughout the article.Yehoshua2 (talk) 08:28, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Why not follow the source and take both values with footnote and all? - DVdm (talk) 09:01, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
If someone understands what the footnote refers to, then we could add it; I think in the measurement segment, rather than the constancy section.Yehoshua2 (talk) 07:13, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Re: Anthropic Principle datum

while my request for clarification (or the clarification itself) may not be as intensive as some of the others here, i would still like to know in which direction this "4%" applies. is it an increase of 4% or a decrease? or both? alpha being >.1 is certainly a much larger change than a "measly" 4%. in any case, please differentiate this value, thanks. :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Luke J Pickett (talkcontribs) 23:14, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Stephen L. Adler's short classic paper on the fine structure constant

Adler's short paper on the fine structure constant should be mentioned as well 'Theories of the Fine Structure Constant a' in any biblography on the subject. FERMILAB-PUB-72/059-T — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Sure, why not? It's not hard to do, 167. Even for a lowly IP editor. (talk) 01:21, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Theory of fine-structure constant was published already

I would like to note that the use of the term "Numerology" in this article does not correspond to its definition given in the Wikipedia itself. Such a common contradiction (to a lesser extent in the identical German and Russian articles) creates a negative attitude for the fine structure constant in this article. At the same time the "Coupling constant" article gives only neutral information about the fine structure constant (as well as other constants). I may say about each paragraph in «Numerological explanations» the same what Lambian said in «Unclear paragraph on non-notable result». Eventually this article must be combined with the "Coupling constant" article because at least first three of them are: α^(0*0), α^(1*1), α^(2*2) (next are α^(3*3), α^(4*4), α^(5*5), ... but accuracy of calculations must be as twice as more than 64 bits).Алры (talk) 16:30, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Natural Units

It would be helpful to note that the natural units mentioned are specifically Lorentz–Heaviside units. The term "natural units" needlessly ambiguous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pulu (talkcontribs) 21:29, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Is the constant constant?

The "Is the fine-structure constant actually constant?" section strikes me as unencyclopedic. It reads like a bunch of inconclusive experimental findings, with no reliable secondary source to reach a conclusion. When you add in the Nobel-bait of discovering a variation in the constant .... I propose deleting the section entirely. It would also improve the article to work the content of the "Numerology" and "Quotes" into the meat of the article—Finell

It seems to be something which a number of reputable physicists have speculated about, and which would be extremely important if true, but which can't be conclusively verified or refuted in the current state of knowledge. Sometimes that's just the way that science in a field is... (Probably [1] would be a secondary source; can't fully view it from here.) AnonMoos (talk) 13:29, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Unknown reference to Murphy in Is the constant constant.

In the section, Is the constant constant? there is a block of text,

"King et al. … stated by Webb et al. and Murphy et al. are robust."

Webb is in the main article, but Murphy is not. How can you refer to Murphy when he doesn't exist? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spikesdad (talkcontribs) 01:57, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

8 cites to Murphy. Why is this item hiding here instead of at the bottom of the list? Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 03:03, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

Physical representation of alpha

I'm aware of a physical representation of derived from purely classical means. A spherical resonator cavity in free space with radius , where is the Bohr radius, will have free space inductance and capacitance such that its resonant frequency exactly matches, to 8+ significant figures, the frequency of a photon with energy equal to the electron rest mass, . To see this, note that = 7.7634408 x 10E20 rad/s. This frequency corresponds to a photon of energy 510998.896 eV, which is also . Has this ever been described? The implication to particle production is evident. This describes a necessary condition for a photon with energy of the electron rest mass to experience infinite vacuum impedance. (talk) 12:02, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Fine Structure Constant depends on Proton-to-Electron Mass Ratio

All measurements of the Fine Structure constant are based on a behavior of electrons in atoms. Hence Fine Structure constant should depend on Proton-to-Electron mass ratio. The link can be described by following formulae

where                                - Proton-to-electron mass ratio.

Deviation for produced value for the Fine Structure constant reciprocal is 10-14.

It is determined exclusively by uncertainty of measurements of the Proton-to-electron mass ratio.

Simplified expression is also practical for the constant's value calculation

Mikhail Vlasov

Korablino (talk) 21:29, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

You need a source for that. It looks like OR, and hardly that original.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 21:54, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Electromagnetic coupling constant g

In the article it says It is related to the electromagnetic coupling constant g whereas following the link it is then only called gauge coupling parameter, g. In the German article the "fine-structure constant" is equivalent to and just another name for the "electromagnetic coupling constant". I guess it is a mistake in this article. Ra-raisch (talk) 19:22, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

AFAIK, the term "electromagnetic coupling constant" is often used for α, but this is unfortunately a misnomer. My memory may be failing me, but I think that Feynman used the term to refer to e, the elementary charge. The latter use is in keeping with the use of the term "coupling constant". The use of g as a symbol is probably just a way of changing the units of e. The lead is definitely not satisfactory in this regard at the moment. I'd like to see us not using the term "electromagnetic coupling constant" for α (because it is a bad use), but rather just mention that this is often what it is used to mean, preferably not even in the lead. α is proportional to the square of what I'm here calling Feynman's electromagnetic coupling constant. —Quondum 23:46, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Removed the 1/128 reference: here's why

There was previously a reference to a sheet of physical constants, provided by NIST. It included a reference to a high value of alpha at high energies, and this was mentioned in the article (~1/128).
Although this is not made clear in the NIST reference, this "alpha" is not the same as the fine-structure constant referred to in this article, which really is a constant that relates precisely to other physical constants in a known and simple way.
The alpha mentioned in the NIST reference is alpha_sub_2 = alpha /(sin theta_w), which is a variable.
Check out A Modern Introduction to Particle Physics by By Fayyazuddin, Riazuddin for more details.
In any case, including this reference will mislead the reader. Under all circumstances, the fine-structure constant is fixed, as defined at the start of this article. Ordinary Person (talk) 12:42, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Relativistic mass ratios of neutron, proton, and electron give exact value for fine structure constant

The following equation, proposed by Michael John Sarnowski, in "Relativistic Equation for the Fine-Structure Constant Using the Polynested Spinning Spheres Theory of the Cuboctahedron"[2] for the fine structure constant.

Equation 2.1 fine structure constant= ::

Where :: is proposed to be as follows

Equation 2.2 ::

Where Me=Mass of the Electron, Mp=Mass of Proton, and Mn=Mass of Neutron, and T is defined above.

From equation 2.1 and using the 2014 Codata values we obtain

which compares to the 2014 inverse fine structure constant of ::. These values are well within one sigma of each other.[3][4]

Using the values of Mp/Mn=0.99862347872 and Me/Mn=0.00054386734442 obtained from (3),(4) we obtain (5)

Please see the following references.

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Michael Sarnowski (talk) 19:17, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

1. I am fully unconvinced that there is anything outside of numerology going on here.
2. It's original research anyway. Can't put that in Wikipedia. (talk) 03:01, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Michael Sarnowski (talk) 04:32, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Spatial Variation Of Fine Structure Constant

The group working with J. K. Webb published results showing a dipole spatial variation in the fine structure constant with axis that appeared to be passing through the South Magnetic Pole of Earth. Discussions following publication of the first arixv article suggested some interaction of the magnetic field with the optical measurements. General relativity allows such an interaction to occur through the electromagnetic stress energy tensor, but most strongly for magnetic monopoles which have not been found. Magnetic dipole field of Earth has a long base line which allows the two poles to act independently in regions of considerations for General Relativity around the two telescopes. Gravity of Earth can also interact with optics through stress energy. Doctor Webb indicated in other correspondence his knowledge on these possibilities and others not discussed in the arxiv articles due to space limitations.

This article discusses concerns about accuracy of the measurements and possible differences in the two telescopes, but fails to notice whether or not the apparent spatial variation occurred in both telescopes equally when they observed the same object. "A search for systematics, using observations duplicated at both telescopes, reveals none so far which emulate this result."[1] Also the possibility of a stress energy interaction is not reflected in the article.

A major issue is involved in that the published data from Australia is suggesting a preferred location and axial direction in space, in disagreement with modern astronomy and physics. If true it will require confirming data from other researchers and a serious discussion among specialists in the field. Additional published data in arxiv from the Australian group seems to support the original findings. Something important might have been discovered, but the explanation of it is not satisfactory. The article needs help from technical experts. Astrojed (talk) 22:54, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Further work removed much concern about differences between the two telescopes. "Independent VLT and Keck samples give consistent dipole directions and amplitudes ..." Astrojed (talk) 03:08, 30 July 2022 (UTC)


  1. ^ Webb, J. K; King, J. A; Murphy, M. T; Flambaum, V. V; Carswell, R. F; Bainbridge, M. B (2010). "Indications of a spatial variation of the fine structure constant". Physical Review Letters. 107 (19). arXiv:1008.3907. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.191101.

It worth to mention that number 137 belongs to recursive sets of squared and cubed natural numbers

Number 137 belongs to sequence of squared natural numbers

, where and

S1=0 S2=4 S3=5 S4=11
S5=14 S6=22 S7=27 S8=37
S9=44 S10=56 S11=65 S12=79
S13=90 S14=106 S15=119 S16=137
S17=152 S18=172...

Number 137 also belongs to sequence of cubed natural numbers

, where and

C1=-1 C2=9 C3=18 C4=46
C5=79 C6=137 C7=206 C8=306...



Mikhail Vlasov
Korablino (talk) 20:03, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Plot shows local maxima for set
Tan (n22) at n=137 and n=147

Korablino (talk) 06:15, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

Article does not explicitly tell that Fine-structure constant cannot be measured on free electrons because the Fine-structure split is observed only in atoms. Is this statement correct?

If Fine-structure is caused by interaction of an electron and an atomic nucleus - the constant should depend on Proton-to-electron mass ratio μ as

Small shifts 0.5 and 0.018 in reduced mass ratios are not accidental because 0.018 / 0.5 = 0.036
Korablino (talk) 02:09, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

F S C is Space Time's Architecture

((e * cos(137035.9991232535539893 radians)) - 1) / phi = 1

1/((137036 ^2)/(pi/2)^0.5 ) = G is to "G" what E = mc^2 is to "c"

Our space time could be thought of as a cavity held open by the orbit of a pair of quite large black holes & the CMBR is their temperature — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1015:B10E:4F53:68D0:CC1F:43C4:11B3 (talk) 13:11, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Please, this is not an an attempt of Vandalism — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1015:B11D:5E2A:386A:7687:3021:299E (talk) 22:04, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

"Range of its domain" quote

This quote (by a self-published writer whose articles appear on vixra, etc) apparently alludes to its author's rather idiosyncratic theories (for example, that the top quark / electron mass ratio is 18/alpha^2 -- in the Standard Model this mass ratio is the ratio of the top and electron Yukawa couplings, which are independent parameters and have nothing to do with alpha). What are Wikipedia's standards for quotes in a physics article? I don't think this meets them, but I'll defer to a more experienced editor. (talk) 00:10, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Me again -- it's been a month, I decided to go ahead and take out the quote. (talk) 18:06, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

The quote in question is from a reputable publisher. According to Google Scholar the book has been cited 44 times: MacGregor, Malcolm H. "The Power of alpha: Electron Elementary Particle Generation with alpha-Quantized Lifetimes and Masses." ISBN-10 981-256-961-8; ISBN-13 978-981-256-961-5. World Scientific Publishing Co., Pte. Ltd., Singapore, 2007. A more extensive search for publishing history shows more depth, one famous paper and several well-known papers among 44 published papers.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Alphatronic (talk) 16:20, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

Previous edit

I was confused. I dont troll @Earl of Arundel:, you are very well aware of that. But why arent you talking to me?
i thought we were becoming friends. usernamekiran (talk) 22:57, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Physical interpretations

Almost none of the physical interpretations seems to be adequately sourced. Can we have more references?238-Gdn (talk) 14:54, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

i've been studying this for some time, 238-Gdn: there basically aren't any (with one notable exception recently encountered: see below, new section just added a few hours ago). it's been over a hundred years now and basically nobody has the slightest clue. the only interpretations that make sense are ones which match the de vries formula. given that de vries is a programmer who has never published a peer-reviewed paper, his work is dismissed with prejudice. it's a ridiculous situation. Lkcl (talk) 23:19, 4 July 2018 (UTC)


Just asking if the sentence

"Equivalently, it was the quotient between the minimum angular momentum allowed by relativity for a closed orbit, and the minimum angular momentum allowed for it by quantum mechanics."

should read

"... the maximum angular momentum allowed by relativity..." (...and the minimum by QM)? --J. Sketter (talk) 03:57, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

No, absolutely not. It is not important, but the throwaway sentence invites you to visualize circular orbits of a classical electron, before quantization constraints. In that case, the angular momentum goes as and, equivalently, as . As the radius of the orbit decreases, the velocity increases. The classical angular momentum, then, naively, is decreasing with v, and achieves its minimum at . Comparing, then, with the likewise minimum angular momentum provided by the quantization condition yields α. It's a formal wisecrack---if it doesn't speak to you, you might pass it over. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 17:07, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Finally an actual explanation for alpha that's based in mathematics and is in a published peer-reviewed journal

International Journal of Quantum Foundations 3(2017) 100 - 118, a copy of which may be obtained here, - section 4.

the original formula - for which there was no explanation provided because it was found by a programmer with deep analytical and pattern-recognition skills - is here:

unlike many other reverse-engineered formula for alpha the de vries formula has an extremely low Kolmogorov Complexity in its recursive expression, and its maclaurin-like series form extremely similar to the well-known electron g/2 formula. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lkcl (talkcontribs) 15:47, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

it has been noted that the de vries formula, due to it being recursive and also requiring to be implemented using subtraction of extremely small reciprocal differences, requires extraordinary levels of floating-point precision to get the right value: several people have been caught out by using spreadsheets or in one case FORTRAN using only IEEE754 32-bit floats. the most accurate implementation to date uses a python arbitrary precision library (bigfloat) that sets 150 digits.

the explanation by leonardo chianti, is based on the theory that time is a complex number (i think), and that time-dilation effects are involved in the generation of "virtual photons" as the electron's energy goes round in an infinite loop. that loops of virtual photons are created and destroyed, going not only along the circumference of the electron radius but also across the circumference, hence the ratio (to a first iterative approximation) involving 1 + alpha/2pi. however the second iteration of time-dilation interacts with the first, hence the additional multiplication by another factor 1 + alpha/2pi, and the third, and the fourth and so on to infinity, creating the iterative series.

this is quite literally the first explanation for alpha that has ever been proposed which actually has a fundamental theoretical basis... and is dead-accurate. all other theories that have ever been proposed over the past 100 years either are inaccurate (contain some approximation of some kind) or the theory behind them has no real rational scientifically sound basis.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Lkcl (talkcontribs) 15:47, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Insertion of "penultimate" comment on list, unsigned, to boot, is highly objectionable. Advocacy of irredeemably fringe science should not be argued for on these pages. Promulgation in the actual article is not acceptable. Please hash this nonsense out in the Physics Forum of WP, not here. Please. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 16:52, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
autosigning bot takes care of unsigned comments if people forget or are unsure. please do not break wikipedia spirit and guidelines by assuming ill-intent on the part of contributors. Lkcl (talk) 23:10, 4 July 2018 (UTC)
International Journal of Quantum Foundations is not something I would call a reputable journal. It's indexed literally nowhere MIAR: 2375-4729. Now Leonardo Chiatti may very well be right, but if he is, he will very soon be cited by a ton of people. But it's been over a year, and no one batted an eye. Right or wrong, Chiatti failed to convince the physics community and WP:UNDUE applies. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:39, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

update: a recent new measurement of alpha was made (2020?) which is something mad like 11 decimal places. the de vries value for alpha is *still accurate* within the measured experimental uncertainty. all other formulae (including those from notable physicists) have magic constants or are simply not accurate. this "unexplained" formula discovered by a programmer is still the only formula that remains accurate Lkcl (talk) 23:58, 8 August 2021 (UTC)

Section on "quantum micro black holes"

I want to point out that the few references to a theory involving "quantum micro black holes" seem to be just one other among many attempts to explain the fine structure constant - this seems to me not suitable for such a general Wikipedia article. (seems like advertisement of an unproven theory). But I leave it to others to decide whether to delete. (Florian Marquardt) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 3 April 2018 (UTC)

Of course, that section is basically charlatan, and its content does not deserve more than a footnote. The article is veering into junk science. Pity the student who comes here in search of instruction. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 21:42, 3 April 2018 (UTC)
That section appears to be yet another numerological attempt to derive alpha via crazy iterative processes. I don't think we need to leave it for others to decide to delete; it's rubbish. ES2 (talk) 10:42, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

So another editor has undone my removal of this section, by saying that there's a creditable source here ( and then adding a "disclaimer" that sure, a ton of experts think this is fringe science, but this other paper by another researcher who doesn't discuss the fine structure constant at all shows that these calculations methods might be meaningful under certain circumstances.

The creditable source listed is just a huge repository of documents. None of the sources cited have been peer reviewed. In some of Lestone's work, they specifically say they're looking for a way to make alpha be just another universal constant like e or pi.

This whole thing is equivalent to me claiming to have proven aliens exist, and most people think I'm crazy for believing it, but this other paper shows we definitely can't rule it out, therefore my idea is reasonable.

I'm deleting it again. I invite the other editor to explain their reasoning for undoing the edit here on the talk page. ES2 (talk) 07:14, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

"subatomic particles and α" in "physical interpretations"

Previous version deleted by ESnyder2 „numerological, non-scientific explanation”. Yoichiro Nambu of the 1st ref got the nobel for physics in 2008, so I'd rather classify at least his work as „science“. Numerology - sure there is a lot, on a level with e.g. the Koide formula. However, the cited relation for α is based on a model conventionally derived from a DE. -Kawarayaki (talk) 00:25, 3 January 2019 (UTC)

I believe you badly misunderstood Nambu's paper: He definitely did not derive 1/α in that paper: he utilized it to propose regularities of masses of elementary particles using it as a yardstick, regularities invalidated by posterity. That was 67 years ago, and, since, much more has been learned about elementary particles to invalidate this speculation. You cannot implicate α in failed attempts at progress. Koide would be first to object to his intriguing formula being used as an excuse for including obsolete pablum in a general article of this kind. Sure, α underlies the Balmer series, as already discussed in the article. Using it as an excuse to insert pseudoscience in a mainstream article, however, is rich. I believe you should retract the paragraph you wantonly inserted, with extreme prejudice. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 01:45, 3 January 2019 (UTC)

“In to the new SI system entering into force in 2019, 4π × 1.000 000 000 82 (20) 10−7 H·m−1 is a value in the new system for µ0 according to a new measurement of the fine structure constant.[1][2][3]”

I plan to clean up this sentence if there are no objections. It is missing a preceding delimiter (a blank space) from the preceding formula, making it confusing. Also the use of the word force is potentially confusing in this context. Also it is wordy. No change planned to the numbers or references. Any concerns? J Mark Morris (talk) 19:45, 21 January 2019 (UTC)

Done. J Mark Morris (talk) 02:36, 22 January 2019 (UTC)

Proposed renaming of page to "Fine-structure value"

It is fairly clear from the article and talk that there is a commonly held view that the fine structure constant is not a constant, but that it runs with energy. In preparation for future new science, I propose the remaing of the page to "Fine-structure value". It can be made clear that the value is as determined by experiments under certain conditions corresponding to test results at relatively low energy. An alternate proposal would be the "Fine-structure asymptote" which would be the low energy asymptote of the fine structure variable. To continue to call this a constant, when there is widespread scientific evidence that the fine structure "runs with energy" is wrong. J Mark Morris (talk) 02:56, 22 January 2019 (UTC)

Wrong or not, it is established usage. You don’t change names by unilateral fiat. Anyone with a smattering of physics has mastered that. I tweaked the relevant "running coupling" section to clarify the point.Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 03:53, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Good approximation worth mentioning?

Is it worth mentioning that is a close approximation to ? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:09, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Absolutely not. endorsing voodoo numerology would and should raise hackles.Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 03:55, 9 March 2019 (UTC) explains some geometric reasons for the formula. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 3 February 2022 (UTC)

Why 1/137 versus 137

It would be good if this article were to explain why this constant was defined as being less than 1, and not 137. For example, it could have been decided that π was the ratio of diameter to circumference, and everyone would be forced to use 0.318309886... everywhere. And of course, there is no reason why this convention could not be changed. Like how there has been a push to replace pi with tau. But the article would be improved if it were to present the explanation behind why this more obscure version of the constant was adopted. Physicists get a warm fuzzy feeling when the h-bar gets put in the denominator. But there is no rule that says you have to do that. -- Tdadamemd19 (talk) 06:08, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Ok, I just added an explanation for this in the Measurement section. Others here might want to expand on that. -- Tdadamemd19 (talk) 06:56, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Formula from units giving a hint for physical deduction

The article and discussions of it are very interesting for scientist's comunity.Everybody understands that symple formula births effective theory. I would like to add in part 8 following result of paper
[1] The reversed constant is approximately equal to the value:

α-1 ≈ (0.1)×(1.11)×(11.111)×(111.1111).

That gives nealy 7 valid digits and reminds "message from the Universe". The actual reason of symmetry is to contain hidden symmetry. The quantities of units in multipliers are 1, 3, 5, 7 succesevily. Formula actually contains geometric progressions with common ratio 10 to be equal 1+2+3+4. But correction item may to be "in a bad condition". Nevertheless correction item is equal to exp (-8+1/32) what gives precise value

α-1 = (0.1)×(1.11)×(11.111)×(111.1111) + exp (-8+1/32) = 137.035999074.

What is a wonder now that the value from units stands in the argument of exponent as well. We may see that if to go to 2-coding system from our 10-coding. The quantity of units are equal to 8:

exp (-8+1/32) → exp (-111.11111).

Result is very impressive for students but for physics more important to see that progresions arise for Gibbs distribution. Probality of level with energy proportional to (m) for according temperature is proportional to 10-m. Sum of probabilities of a level with m=0,±1,±2,±3 gives value 1111.111 and so on. Therefore, 3D oscillator (levels 2,3 ) and 4-th level of Coulomb problem (n=4) give according quantum numbers. Passage to edit (to add to ) section 8 is proposed and I would like to know attitude of authors, editors and sientist's comunity for editing the result. See full version: EfimovSP of 19 August 2019 in Revision history section. Sergei P. Efimov, PhD, Senior researcher of the Mints Radiotechnical institute, Professor in action of the Bauman technical University (Dep. of math,retired).e-mail in the cited paper.Done:EfimovSP (talk) 08:42, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

I think this in an inappropriate forum to showcase your work, regardless of its attractiveness or lack thereof. See WP:NOR. Other editors should discuss and clear the proposal. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 22:36, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
yep, agreed, it is not appropriate. an appropriate location would be mrob's RIES page: mrob collects "cult of 137" equations that are constructed from magic constants, and also provides a program (RIES) which aids and assist, through monte-carlo formula generation, the creation of such formulae.
the first give-away is that the formula is not accurate to current observed measurements. the latest measurement (2020) is 11 decimal places, where this one is only seven. the "correction" added, which has no explanation, blows all credibility out the water.
a more statistical approach based on Kolmogorov Complexity can be taken, by assigning a probability weighting to each symbol or digit used without explanation in a formula. when multiplied together these types of formulae VERY rapidly approach zero likelihood.
thus, apologies, Sergei, you've fallen into the "cult of 137" trap that so many others have fallen into, even eminent scientists :) Lkcl (talk) 00:14, 9 August 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Sergei P. Efimov (2013). "Symmetries of Fine-Structure Constant". Adv. Studies Theor. Phys. 7 (13): 635–646. doi:10.12988/astp.2013.3431.

Link of constant α with quantum numbers l and ml

Dear administrators, I do know that article belongs to C-Class. Nevertheless it is no reason to re-edit it just at one second (or 30 minutes). One ref. and short content of ref. paper is added because certain interest is arised for the result from high-rank physicists even. Report was represented on seminars of three European Universities. Paper is published in peer-reviewed journal. The reason to lay content in Wiki is following. 1)Exclusively simple formula strikes imagination of scoolboys, students, and professors of physics. 2) It has far going consequences for physics. 3) I don't tuch a letter of the basic article, short section is added only. Mark (to edit) signifies that I may insert short passage again. It will help to discuss and to criticize result by physicists. Sincerely Yours EfimovSP (talk) 13:07, 2 September 2019 (UTC) Dear Editors, I would like to remind that original (unpublished) research is prohibited. At the same time, published in respected journal result can be layed in Wiki. So argument of administrator for reediting is groundless.EfimovSP (talk) 09:18, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Publication does not override lack of consensus. This is tendentious self promotion.Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 10:29, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I wish we wouldn't have to go there: Wikipedia:Fringe theories#Parity of sources... But this is not a forum. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 13:49, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Search of mathematical beauty in α-1

M. H. MacGregor says in the article: "The first mystery - the origin of its numerical value". Is it fringe theory? Why the mistery? Scientists don't like mysteries. They work with problems. Beauty in physics and mathematics is arising symmetries . Upper formula "from units" strikes imagination. Is not it? At any rate - of my students and readers of the paper who sent me kind letters. Here is no theory at all so it is not fringe theory. It is mathematical result only. Geometrical progressions are hidden in α-1. We have to remember that 12 valid digits give monstrous accuracy.[1] Dear Cuzkatzimhut, thank you for critics and 18 hours to read added section 8.1 by interested students in. If you read all added section 8.1 I am very pleased. What your students are saying? EfimovSP (talk) 20:07, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

The operative statement is "Attempts to find a mathematical basis for this dimensionless constant have continued up to the present time. However, no numerological explanation has ever been accepted by the community." It is a fact that the community, and especially the working physicists who appreciate the constant as an infrared fixed point of QED dismiss numerological explanations with extreme prejudice and impatience. I, of course, agree with them. Yes, the do not welcome numerological resolutions to such mysteries, the playful (and somewhat antiquated) quote of Feynman notwithstanding. The section on numerology is there to warn the reader, not to focus him on bootless numerology. QFT does not see numerological explanations. Perhaps another WP article on such might be more welcoming to your proposal. Any rolling of the eyes about the apparently harsh term "fringe" is misplaced. It is inarguably fringe. Cuzkatzimhut (talk) 21:25, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
No other Wikipedia artical should welcome EfimovSP putting in Original Research into the article. That is the only issue here. It doesn't matter if it's fringe or not, if it is not from a publication in some kind of physics journal of repute that can be cited, then it doesn't belong in Wikipedia. This is the fact that EfimovSP must understand. 2601:600:8880:87D0:4C0F:56C1:AA97:CA9D (talk) 22:30, 5 September 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Efimov, S. P. (2013). "Formula for the fine-structure constant". Russian Physics Journal. 56 (7): 740–744.

"numerology" extremely offensive, judgemental, and unscientific

unfortunately, the entire use of the term "numerology" is invariably itself extremely disparaging and offensive. that people consider themselves eminent scientists yet use such terms in an offensive and disrespectful way is a disgrace and an embarrassment to scientific endeavour.

now to explain that.

i am a reverse-engineer, who was successful enough where others have not been such that i actually made a study of reverse-engineering itself. i learned of the terms "auto-didact", zero-prior-knowledge derivation, epistemology and many others. part of the success of what i do comes from NOT making prejudiced assumptions and judgements, instead using overwhelming amounts of data and applying judgement-free statistical filtering.

when i encountered alpha and the sheer quantity of attempts to explain it, i did NOT dismiss them as "numerological bullshit", instead i created an analysis system based on Kolmogorov Complexity to analyse their plausability, instead. it turns out that every single one of the formulae failed that test (with one exception: the de vries formula) but the point is that i did NOT dismiss peoples' efforts out of hand.

this is the bit that really pisses me off about people who call themselves "scientists" is that rather than actually use an actual scientific method such as statistical analysis to guage whether these formulae have merit or not, they chose instead to be deeply offensive and judgemental.

the actual section itself on numerological explanations is very well written. it has some encouraging quotes in it. i am writing this however as a warning to people who use the word "numerology" dismissively. there are much better ways to demonstrate to people that their approach is invalid than to be disparaging and dismissive. Lkcl (talk) 00:40, 9 August 2021 (UTC)

Many of the efforts of Arthur Eddington have been labelled "numerological" for decades now (see Eddington number). And if an attempted "explanation" for a dimensionless physical constant involves no physical parameters or relationship to any physical theory, but instead is derived from pure mathematics only, then it's actually not an "explanation", and might as well be numerology as far as many physicists are concerned. AnonMoos (talk) 05:01, 9 August 2021 (UTC)
yes, it's rather unfortunate. on the one hand: the reason why i cannot be arrogantly dismissive of things that "fit but have no explanation" is because i trained as a Software Engineer, Security Researcher and in black-box reverse-engineering. that is a field where you have quite literally no information about anything - at all (worse, if you sign Corporate NDAs to get at the information, those NDAs actively prevent and prohibit you from publishing your results). consequently, from that training, you learn very quickly that being prejudicially judgemental "because there's no explanation" will, fundamentally, make you absolutely s**t at your job. it's called zero-knowledge derivation. think of it this way: if a child learned language without assistance, and the adults told them "no, you're wrong, you can't possibly have learned that word because nobody provided you with the grammar and syntax THEORY to understand it", how would that child react? or: an archaeologist, reconstructing a dead language, purely from context and comparison. is there anybody around to give them the THEORY behind the symbols that look like "meaningless numerology"?
and yet, on the other hand, deep breath: in the search that i've made of "alternative" theories, holy cow is there a lot of noise-to-signal. i mean, i am totally supportive of the existence of vixra, in that it actually allows people to self-publish, at all. i will always be eternally grateful for that. however it doesn't mean that it's actual quality work. that means that even *attempting* to find rational and high quality research on vixra and other self-published sites, *including* those which restrict (and censor) their forum discussion to "accepted" science, is extremely challenging. thus, i am really not surprised that Academics simply disregard anything that is not peer-reviewed. despite that now being less and less meaningful.
so it's a difficult situation. to me, as a reverse-engineer, the de vries formula is a neon flashing sign with the brightness of a supernova. after several years i've finally made some progress with it, recently, by expressing it in Euler's_continued_fraction_formula form : then substituted "t = cos (theta alpha / 2pi)" into the Rodrigues variant of Legendre_polynomials#Rodrigues'_formula_and_other_explicit_formulas, and am currently working it through to Spherical_harmonics which is giving me headaches. the Triangular Number part of de Vries comes from the Rodrigues differentiation. Early signs are that the infinite series entirely cancels out - with parts of how Spherical Harmonics are expressed (powers of radius to the power of l), leaving just the exp(pi^2/2) part of the de Vries formula, which i've not yet matched up with anything. it *might* match up with the tensors moment orthogonality weight, but to be honest tensors are completely beyond me at the moment (pun intended).
i have to say: i should not be the one doing this. i have A-Level mathematics ability, from 1987, for goodness sake. some physicist, mathematician or basically *anybody* other than me should have picked this up over fifteen years ago and analysed it properly. i'm really quite angry and disappointed with Academia for being so prejudice and closed-minded. and i've spoken over the years to quite a lot of prejudiced Academics, many of them quite prominent. Lkcl (talk) 22:35, 25 September 2021 (UTC)
@Lkcl: Talk pages aren't discussion forums, please stop dumping all this nonsense here. ‑‑Volteer1 (talk) 23:11, 25 September 2021 (UTC)
on a section in which i specifically mention how disrespectful people are being, i am extremely disappointed to see the use of such loaded and disparaging words. "dumping". "nonsense". would you like an opportunity to apologise and withdraw your completely inappropriate and disrespectful comments or do i have to go straight to reporting you for abuse and violation of the spirit and intent of wikipedia? Lkcl (talk) 23:14, 1 October 2021 (UTC)

'...I cannot be arrogantly dismissive of things that "fit but have no explanation"...'

Lckl, a *ton* of things "have no explanation." You seem focused on alpha, but have you attempted this sort of approach for all the other physical constants that also "have no explanation"? The values of the gravitational constant, the Avogadro constant, the speed of light, the Planck constant, the Boltzmann constant, the constants in the lepton mixing matrix, the distance from the Sun to Earth, the maximum wavelength sensitivity in the three types of cone cells, the triple point of water... I could go on, but the point is that these values can be and have been *measured*, just as the fine-structure constant has. None of them have an explanation or a reason for their values. The fact that alpha is dimensionless does not somehow make it more likely to have an explanation than the others. (We could ask, for instance, about the "reason" that the (dimensionless) Reynolds number has a range where liquids change from laminar to turbulent flow.)

To misquote Neil DeGrasse Tyson: The universe is under no obligation to give you reasons for the numbers it is governed by. You can measure the numbers, but they don't need a reason. ES2 (talk) 05:49, 14 October 2021 (UTC)

Yet another beauty in α

An equality can be written retroactively for the ratio π/137 being expressed as a function (Taylor series) of the fine-structure constant α.

The result has a very narrow range of values = 137.0359991676 ± 0.0000000007 satisfying the above equality.

The direct expression for the fine-structure constant α as a function of the π/137 ratio produces the same result.

Also, there is a converging set.

Mikhail Vlasov Korablino (talk) 01:44, 3 August 2020 (UTC)


Through the last years, starting up to 2016, I have worked on other theories, that Coulombs Law best describes the three known forces as strong and weak atomic/nuclear forces and 'electro-magnetic' radiation quite differently. But the work of Feynman is not part of this. The reach of electrostatic force in these collections, is not much further than the radius of any atom. The electrons in these ideas do not orbit or spin. Magnetism is sought explained as gravity with graviton flux. But light as photons. Link to my homepage in Danish, if these theories have interest, but it has not been translated.

This might mean, that at the distance 100.000.000 (10^8) meters, electrostatics differences can be measured, which if I have any clue, what I am saying, means, magnetism on Earth, experimentally almost can be registered on the moon? "Magnetism reaches much further that electrostatic fields. And gravity much, much further that any magnetism, that can be both natural and generated." (384.405 km - 3474*0,5 km - 3474*4*0,5 km = 360.087 km)

--Damsgaard1971 (talk) 15:12, 3 August 2020 (UTC)


Is "numerological" the right word? This isn't numerology as far as I can tell. kencf0618 (talk) 12:50, 20 June 2021 (UTC)

Many of the speculations of Arthur Eddington in this area and others are most definitely referred to as numerology (see Eddington number). Attempts to derive the 137+ number from pure mathematics (without reference to any physical theory) would also be called "numerology" by some... AnonMoos (talk) 23:23, 20 June 2021 (UTC)
Numerology in this context means just making up some formula or some argumentation with no real physics underpinnings with the sole intent to make it output the desired number. In this very page, you can see a lot of people who came out with made up formulas to output using a bunch of unexplained, exoteric and made up combinations of , , , , , , square roots, logarithms, etc. What it seems that most people don't get up, is that it is not difficult to make some formula that output or any other number you like by using some combination of those. But just because your made up a formula that outputs what you want it to output, that doesn't means that it is correct neither that its made up and unexplained inputs have any real connection to real physics. 2804:431:C7CF:F03F:90BB:1D2D:AA63:F897 (talk) 20:58, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

A theoretical derivation

P-block violation. See Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/TejinderPSingh. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 17:39, 18 July 2022 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The reason the low energy fine structure constant gets determined in a pre-quantum, pre-spacetime theory is the following:

How taking the square-root of Minkowski space-time paves the way for unification:

It is like going from the surface of the ocean to the ocean bed. The ocean floor can exist without the surface, but the surface cannot exist without the floor.

We live in a 4D Minkowski space-time curved by gravitation, in which standard model gauge fields and fermions reside.

But there is a more precise description. We take the square-root of Minkowski space-time and arrive at Penrose's twistor space, described by complex numbers.

In this spinor space-time replace complex numbers by quaternions, then by octonions. More precisely complex bioctonions. We arrive at a space with E_8 x E_8 symmetry whose geometry is a unified description of the standard model and pre-gravitation. The gauge group is

SU(3)_c X SU(2)_L X U(1)_Y x SU(3)_grav X SU(2)_R X U(1)_g

Coupling constants are determined by the geometry.

In the classical limit, the 4D curved spacetime and the standard model emerge, but with pre-determined values of coupling constants. Fermions span space-time as well as the space of the gauge fields.

Taking the square root of Minkowski space-time does not involve change of energy scale. It only gives a more precise mathematical formalism. One that is key to unification, which already takes place at low energies, if we do not restrict ourselves to 4D classical spacetime: only classical systems live in 4D. Quantum systems always live in E_8 x E_8 even at low energies.

European Physical Journal Plus 137, 664 (2022) Physicsenduser (talk) 13:55, 14 July 2022 (UTC)

It is highly objectionable and unacceptable that a user removed the theoretical derivation section. It has been restored by Physicsenduser. Wiki users labelling this derivation as crankery must refrain from doing so, and instead state their technical objections here and engage in a serious and productive physics discussion. Removing published work by caling it crankery is unethical and violates Wiki norms. Physicsenduser (talk) 17:04, 15 July 2022 (UTC)

Physicsenduser, it is clear that you feel affronted, which suggests that you feel personally connected to the added material. It was appropriate to remove the added material as not meeting the bar for inclusion in Wikipedia. The material relies exclusively on primary sources (specifically, papers by Tejinder P. Singh) that have evidently not been cited by anyone but Singh. It is also not appropriate to argue the merits of the proposition on Wikipedia: Wikipedia relies on reliable secondary sources for deciding on what content is appropriate, and their apparent total absence is a good reason to exclude this material. The fine-structure constant has historically been the target of numerologically based "explanations", and any material that relies primarily on numerical formulae to express the fine-structure constant is likely to be dismissed out of hand. And finally, if you are Tejinder Singh or anyone connected with Singh or his work, it would be contrary to Wikipedia guidelines for you to be including this material: I suggest that you read WP:COI, particularly WP:SELFCITE. If you feel that I am wrong, I invite you to solicit opinion at WT:Physics. (talk) 14:51, 17 July 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for engaging in a discussion. It should not matter who I am. This derivation of the fine structure constant appears to be a breakthrough result, number of current citations notwithstanding. My apologies, but your interpretation of reliable secondary sources is not the same as mine. It is tragic and unscientific that one should want to outright dismiss a numerical expression for the low energy fine structure constant; it only reflects a deep-seated prejudice. It is important to get to the bottom of the physics: this number arises from the eigenvalues of the Dirac equation for three fermion generations in 10D spacetime; this being the characteristic equation for the exceptional Jordan algebra.
What constitutes acceptance by the community? Are we to decide exclusively by the number of citations? Should it not suffice that the paper has undergone rigorous peer review and is published in a Springer journal with impact factor 3.758? Also, a wiki user who disagrees with this physics should publish a rebuttal in the same journal and then that rebuttal can also be cited here.
This wiki page has a lot of uninspiring statements such as anthropic interpretation, numerological interpretations, multiverses...these are the ones which should be removed.
On the contrary, the derivation based on the octonions is a breath of fresh air, finally some rigorous insight into the coupling constants of the standard model. Why remove it?!
Could it be that sociology and geographical considerations are playing some role in this debate? Namely, a high stakes result is coming out of India, and not from Europe / North America? Would the same zeal to remove this result have been shown if the author was a famous author based in the West?
Thank you. Physicsenduser (talk) 19:08, 17 July 2022 (UTC)
"In the early 21st century, multiple physicists, including Stephen Hawking in his book A Brief History of Time, began exploring the idea of a multiverse, and the fine-structure constant was one of several universal constants that suggested the idea of a fine-tuned universe."
The only reason this remark above survives on wiki is because Prof. Stephen Hawking and several other prominent physicists endorsed it. However, it is not science - for, where are those multiverses?! Are we now favouring fine-tuning of the fine structure constant across unseen fictitious multiverses, over s rigorous physics derivation of this constant? Is it not tragic for physics, when we start favouring science-fiction-like beliefs over rigorous mathematics, merely on the basis of citations/popularity? It would be interesting to know which peer-reviewed journal has published the above quoted claim on multiverses and fine structure constant. Physicsenduser (talk) 19:27, 17 July 2022 (UTC)

Calculated value as 1/137.04

Hi, LaundryPizza03, I didn't put the formula with the source into the article (IP user did), but I did calculate its value from it (with the Julia language):

julia> using IntervalArithmetic
julia> @interval 1/(9/1024 * exp((1/3 - √(3/8)) * 2/3))
[137.04, 137.041]

this differs by 0.003% from the (too precise) CODATA 2018 value (I changed the article here to be consistent with that (measured) CODATA value AND this theory). I would really like to know if there's ANY other theory for the constant, than this octonian "pre-quantum, pre-spacetime theory". Measured values do not trump (good) theory, because all physical measurements also depend on theory. Some IP user put the source in (its only edit), but if the IP hadn't put it in, I would have. See also: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Physics#Now_sourced_at_main_article._Was:_Unsourced_mass_change_to_a_physical_constant including comments, such as mine. comp.arch (talk) 10:48, 7 September 2022 (UTC)

The actual theory is that the constant is a measured value, not a computed one. The fact that it turns out to be close to an (inverse) integer value is a coincidence, and there's no wide acceptance that the formula you used is anything but a crackpot theory with no basis in reality. PianoDan (talk) 14:31, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
Are you seriously stating, that there can't be any theory that explains (the constants of the universe, such as) this constant? I.e. we live in a fine-tuned universe (see at: List of unsolved problems in physics).
What is the "actual theory" you're referring to? "is anything but a crackpot theory" is a disappointing statement. The paper was "Accepted 23 May 2022 Published 05 June 2022". Might be why not yet citations. comp.arch (talk) 20:40, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
For starters, CODATA makes clear that the fine structure constant is a measured value, not a computed one.
And it doesn't matter WHY there aren't citations yet. The fact remains that there aren't any, so therefore this is not a reliable source for inclusion in Wikipedia for a claim of this kind. Bear in mind, I didn't say it IS a crackpot theory. (although I'm pretty sure it is.) I said there's no evidence of acceptance that it isn't.
If, by some miracle, this theory turns out to be valid, it will over time be cited and quoted in secondary sources, and then there might be a case for inclusion in Wikipedia. Right now, however, it fails instantly on WP:TOOSOON, in addition to being likely WP:NFRINGE. PianoDan (talk) 21:12, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
WP:NFRINGE is a "Wikipedia content guideline", and WP:TOO SOON only an essay. IF he has a final theory, explains that constant, or rather reduces the 26 constants of the universe down to only three, then I would say it's not soon enough. Note, I didn't add the formula and the value to Wikipedia first. Somebody did and a source. I just calculated here on the talk page to confirm. And I'm only changing pages to confirm both to that value and CODATA. comp.arch (talk) 21:53, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
I took a look at how the constant is currently measured (as of Morel et al. 2020, latest (non-theoretical) determination with source in the article, I suppose older CODATA 2018 determination is similar). It's quite remarkable, and not a simple measurement, and illuminating what goes into Determination of the fine-structure constant with 81 parts-per-trillion accuracy. The bold is in the original, and I don't list all of it, only what I found most interesting (in original order), but I did put in italics, for some phrases I found intriguing).
From the Methods section: "Theoretical phase shit [sic] at the output of the interferometer [..] we obtain a modified version of equation" (I suppose a typo for shift), "Evaluation of uncertainty budgets Thanks to the high sensitivity of our atom interferometer, a wide range of systematic effects has been investigated and evaluated experimentally [..] Parameters are listed on Extended Data Table" [I count 36 numbers in that table], "Calculation of the final uncertainty The final value of h/m is obtain from hundreds of individual measurement of h/m. For each measurement, an uncertainty was calculated. This uncertainty has several origins that may be unique to this measurement (for example the uncertainty of the fit or the laser frequency measurement) or depend on the parameters of the measurement (for example light shift, gravity gradient) or common to all measurement (for example beam parameters).", "Monte Carlo simulation", "Earth rotation Coriolis acceleration, resulting from Earth rotation, induces a phase shift which depends on the individual velocity ~v of the atoms.", "Beams alignment The beams are aligned by an automatic procedure every 10 records of the four spectra (about 45 minutes).", "Wave front corrections", "Quadratic Zeeman effect", "One photon light-shift", "Two-photon light shift", "Phase shift in Raman Phase Lock Loop".
Experimentalists are certainly awesome, so are theorists, their theories, and the former people need the latter. comp.arch (talk) 17:00, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
While this is an old discussion, let me throw my two cents in: The overwhelming consensus among the physics community is that the fine structure constant can not be calculated, only measured. To quote one realiable source, “Physicists have more or less given up on a century-old obsession over where alpha’s particular value comes from; they now acknowledge that the fundamental constants could be random”. However, a Google search of the fine structure constant will find dozens of self-published papers and blogs showing how this number can be calculated. Given its current known value—137.035999—one can come up with a number of equations that get that value. And, yes, many many people think they have unlocked α and will get the next Nobel prize for doing so, to the point they will disruptively edit the Wikipedia to tell the world of their “brilliant” equation which solves the fine structure constant. While “crackpot” is a very negative and hurtful word to say, I can see why some people throw in the towel and resort to that kind of harsh language every time someone comes up with a new way to calculate the fine structure constant. I think it’s important to try and use kind and loving language, so do not approve of a word so harsh, but I also feel accuracy in the Wikipedia is very important, and having yet-another-how-to-calculate-α recipe in this article will make the article inaccurate and unscientific. Samboy (talk) 21:10, 15 January 2023 (UTC)
Kindly do note that the octonionic theory is a new theory of unification. It is not a recipe for calculating the fine structure constant. This constant is only one of several, including mass ratios, which get determined in this theory from first principles. There is nothing particularly special about the fsc. (talk) 14:08, 5 February 2023 (UTC)

"early 21st century" error

"In the early 21st century, multiple physicists, including Stephen Hawking in his book A Brief History of Time, began exploring the idea of a multiverse"

According to our article on the book A Brief History of Time was published in 1988, not in the early 21st century. This probably should say "In the late 20th century" - using "began" already implies it continued after that. Vultur~enwiki (talk) 21:48, 28 February 2023 (UTC)