# First Reports: Higgs Found?

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#### csmyth3025

##### Guest
andwor":3bt0ixi7 said:
Hi Chris,

...Notwithstanding this, your comment about the mass is very interesting, what if the particle had the mass of 137 times the mass of the proton.

that would be the mass of the proton x 1/alpha.

If my math is correct, that would make alpha=~0.0073. What does alpha represent?

Chris

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#### ramparts

##### Guest
Yeah, something like that - it's a dimensionless constant (unfortunately a bit of a rarity in physics) equal to about 0.0073, or almost exactly 137. So physicists tend to like the number 137 - I remember seat 137 was my professors favorite seat in my freshman physics classroom

Anyway, that's the fine structure constant, which essentially describes the strength of electromagnetic interactions. It shows up all over the place:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_struc ... pretations

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#### andwor

##### Guest
Hi Chris

Standard alpha is the fine structure constant it is known accurately to about 6 decimal places or more , alpha=0.007297352.

It is an important constant in electromanegnetism. It is best know as the fraction of the speed of light at which an electron orbits the hydrogen atom (i.e the proton).

Non standard alpha is slightly larger.

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#### darkmatter4brains

##### Guest
Well, since the fine structure constant has come up, I guess I should tell the (possibly legendary/mythical) story of Pauli and the number 137.

For those who don't know, Pauli was quite the mystic. If you don't believe it, I would recommend reading his correspodence with Carl Jung. I'm sure that'll convince anybody

Anyhow, apparently when he got really sick and was being rolled in on a gurney into his hospital room, he grabbed the frame of the doors, because he noticed the room number was 137. He looked up at the person that was with him and said he would never come out of that room alive. And, he didn't.

This story could be true, I've just never independently verified and I forget where I originally read it.

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#### QED

##### Guest
darkmatter4brains":c41pijj8 said:
Well, since the fine structure constant has come up, I guess I should tell the (possibly legendary/mythical) story of Pauli and the number 137.

For those who don't know, Pauli was quite the mystic. If you don't believe it, I would recommend reading his correspodence with Carl Jung. I'm sure that'll convince anybody

Anyhow, apparently when he got really sick and was being rolled in on a gurney into his hospital room, he grabbed the frame of the doors, because he noticed the room number was 137. He looked up at the person that was with him and said he would never come out of that room alive. And, he didn't.

This story could be true, I've just never independently verified and I forget where I originally read it.

This is scary. I just read this a few hours ago, in Michael Lockwood's book: The Labyrinth of Time

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#### ramparts

##### Guest
Beware the fine structure constant, QED - you could be next!

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#### QED

##### Guest
ramparts":vhpyeae2 said:
Beware the fine structure constant, QED - you could be next!

I'll have to make like a cross-section and scatter!

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