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markaerwin's avatar

What are the constants of the universe?

Asked by markaerwin (8points) September 3rd, 2008

I was reading that there were a set of constants that govern the universe as we know it. I was wondering what they were.

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13 Answers

lapilofu's avatar

From Wikipedia:

“According to Michio Kaku (1994: 124–27), the Standard Model of particle physics contains nineteen arbitrary dimensionless constants that describe the masses of the particles and the strengths of the various interactions. This was before it was discovered that neutrinos can have nonzero mass, and his list includes a quantity called the theta angle which seems to be zero. After the discovery of neutrino mass, and leaving out the theta angle, John Baez (2002) noted that the new Standard Model requires twenty-five arbitrary fundamental constants, namely the:

* Fine structure constant;
* Strong coupling constant;
* Masses of the fundamental particles (represented in terms of the Planck mass or some other natural unit of mass), namely the six quarks, the six leptons, the Higgs boson, the W boson and the Z boson;
* Four parameters of the CKM matrix, which describe how quarks oscillate between different forms;
* Four parameters of the Maki-Nakagawa-Sakata matrix, which does the same thing for neutrinos.

Gravity requires one more fundamental constant, namely the:

* cosmological constant (represented in terms of Planck units) of Einstein’s equations for general relativity.

This makes for a current total of 26 dimensionless fundamental physical constants. More constants presumably await discovery, to describe the properties of dark matter. If the description of dark energy turns out to be more complicated than can be modelled by the cosmological constant, yet more constants will be needed.”

Harp's avatar

Ralph Nader will always be one of the presidential candidates.

mozartpena's avatar

yes, 42 is the way to go. :)

cookieman's avatar

Cookies make everything better.
at least for a little while

robmandu's avatar

The rationalized Planck’s constant h, the gravitational constant G, the speed of light in vacuum c, the electric constant ε0, fine-structure constant α, and the elementary charge e.

Oh, and the one that impacts me most would be Murphy’s Law.

There might be some truth to the old saying: the one constant in life is change. Research has used atomic clocks to measure the change in various constants and have produced a relative change in μ that is (-1.9±4.0)x10–16 year^(-1); for reference, similar measurement in the changes of the fine constant report a relative change of (-1.6±2.3) year^(-1).

tedibear's avatar

The only true constant in my universe is that my mom made the best chocolate chip cookies and that I still can’t figure out how! Otherwise, the only thing constant is change.

benseven's avatar

Sod’s law.

loser's avatar

Death & taxes.

Sloane2024's avatar

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Evert's avatar

This may be a good read, if you like to know more:–2
(Martin Rees is the Astronomer Royal in the UK, and certainly knows his stuff.)
In addition, it goes down from 26 or 42 to just 6…

kurdtpage's avatar

Isnt Pi one of the constants?

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