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Intrinsic Variability of the So-Called Fundamental Physical Constants

Zwicky, F. (1938) Intrinsic Variability of the So-Called Fundamental Physical Constants. Physical Review, 53 (4). p. 315. ISSN 0031-899X.

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Several years ago I pointed out [1-3] that formulations of natural laws which imply the possibility of absolute verification through a finite number of observations are intrinsically inadequate and must in course of time give way to statistically flexible formulations of natural laws. The considerations which led to the conclusion just stated were illustrated by predictions regarding the necessarily to be expected variability of physically significant pure numbers, such as the fine structure constant α = 2πe^2/hc, the ratio of the rest masses of proton and electron r = mp/me and the ratio of the electric radius to the gravitational radius of the electron R = e^2/Γme^2, (Γ = universal gravitational constant), numbers which previously had been considered as absolute values. The programmatic value of these considerations is accentuated by recent developments in the physics of elementary particles as well as in cosmology.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:©1938 The American Physical Society Received 26 January 1938
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:ZWIpr38a
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ID Code:4489
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Deposited On:24 Aug 2006
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 08:59

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