Atoms under close examination

  • Jean-Philippe Uzan
  • Bénédicte Leclercq
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


We have noted the relevance of dimensionless parameters, obtained through the combination of fundamental dimensional constants, and only accessible to measurement independently of a system of units. Let us now focus upon one of them, the fine-structure constant α. This parameter is written as α=e2/2ε0hc, incorporating the square of the electric charge and thereby characterising the amplitude of electromagnetic interaction. Its value, as we have already seen, is 1/137.03599976.


Electromagnetic Force Beta Decay Uranium Oxide Atomic Clock Iron Meteorite 
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Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Philippe Uzan
    • 1
  • Bénédicte Leclercq
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut d’Astrophysique de ParisCNRSParisFrance
  2. 2.Pour la scienceParisFrance

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