The Atomic Constants, Light, and Time

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Scientific Paper
Title The Atomic Constants, Light, and Time
Author(s) Barry John Setterfield
Keywords Constants, atoms, light, time
Published 1987
Journal None
Volume Invited Research Report


That a major revolution in nuclear physics, astronomy and cosmology is underway these days is perhaps not obvious to the general public, or even perhaps to the average research scientist who is not working directly in one of these fields. It was but 300 years ago this year that Sir Isaac Newton published his "Principia," launching the western world boldly forward towards the era of modern physics. An explosive increase in the body of knowledge about our physical universe has resulted. The most rapid changes in this body of knowledge, however, seem to have occurred just in the past few years and appear to be taking place even now at an accelerated rate. As startling and profound as Albert Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity were when they first appeared, shortly after the turn of this century, advances in particle physics and in astronomy in the past three or four decades have been even more radical in their implications.

It is now known that certain atomic constants governing the atom and its inner workings are the very same constants that likewise describe phenomena in space-time on the largest scale of observables in the universe. Thus, for some as yet unexplained reasons, the realm of the smallest physical observables is coupled to the grandest scale of events and happenings amongst the stars and galaxies.