6 January 2011

Do think about alpha - to be a good theoretical physicist

The fine structure constant alpha=1/137.03... is really a taboo subject. Go to wikipedia and look at the entry "Theory of everything": there is not a word about the need to explain alpha. Go to the wikipedia article "List of unsolved problems in physics": the same. Yes, the prejudice is really strong: "If you think about alpha, you are not serious."

And that is the exact opposite of what Feynman said: "all good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it".

Do you know anybody who worries about the number? Search the internet; you will find nobody who does. Ergo: we have no good theoretical physicists at present!


  1. Have you read my opus "Reformulation instead of Renormalizations" yet? There is a natural dimensionless coupling constant in there:


    I think that alpha is somewhat quite similar.

  2. Yes I read it. But I do not find a discussion of its value. Feynman said: think about its value!

    It is not a secret that QED has a dimensionless coupling. We know that since around a century. The issue is where the number comes from...