Atomic Masses and Fundamental Constants 5 pp 650-654 | Cite as

# Understanding the Fundamental Constants

## Abstract

In order to avoid confusion I wish to make clear at the outset that in this discussion the term “fundamental constants” is not intended to refer to what would be better described as “standard dimensional coefficients”, such as Newton’s gravitational constant G whose value is well defined only with respect to some(more or less arbitrarily chosen) system of dimensional standards. I intend that the term fundamental constant should be interpreted as refering to quantities that play a genuinely fundamental role in physical theory. At the present stage of development of physics the most important examples are coupling Fonstants such as the electromagnetic(“fine structure”) constant e^{2} / ħc and the proton gravitational coupling constant Gm_{p} ^{2}/ ħc whose values(which are roughly 1/137 and of the order of 10^{−39} respectively) are independent of the choice of measuring standards. Since I do not wish to prejudge the question of whether such quantities can vary in time or space it would perhaps be better to refer to them as fundamental “parameters” rather than “constants”.

## Keywords

Neutron Star Planetary System Fundamental Constant Main Sequence Star Gravitational Coupling## Preview

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## References

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