Rick's Critique of the Cosmic Coincidences: Appendix D

The Quantum of Charge and the Electromagnetic Coupling Constant

The quantum of charge is introduced in terms of various different conventions as regards units. The quantum of charge can be regarded as the coupling strength of the electromagnetic interaction. The fine structure constant, alpha, is defined. This is a dimensionless form of the electromagnetic coupling strength which uses the speed of light and Planck's constant as the normalising quantities. The relative strength of the electrostatic and gravitational forces is discussed, the ratio of these forces on two protons being of order 10^36.

The relative magnitudes of electrostatic and magnetic forces are also discussed, as is the relevance or irrelevance of these forces on astronomical scales. Paradoxically, the astronomical importance of gravitational, magnetic and electrostatic forces is in inverse relation to their intrinsic strength.

Read Cosmic Coincidences Appendix D: The Quantum of Charge and the Electromagnetic Coupling Constant

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