Back in year 2000, Halton Arp held this lecture on his career as an astronomer, and his…

# Øye’s Fine-structure Constant

Conventional quantum physics tends to deal with physical phenomena in purely mathematical terms. There is little attempt to explain exactly what the various constants and variables used actually are. There is no well defined physical model behind the formulas in which we can clearly point to a particular thing and say that this is what we are dealing with. Everything is statistics and probabilities.

While the formulas produced by quantum physics have great predictive powers, the underlying mechanisms that produce the results are poorly understood. This has lead to a strange situation in which physical constants have been discovered, without anyone being able to explain what they represent.

The Fine-structure constant is a good example of this. There are at least 5 different ways to calculate and measure this constant. It represents a relationship in nature that no-one can deny. Yet, no-one can seem to agree on what it means. But that’s not for lack of trying.

Looking into the nature of the Fine-structure constant, Enos Øye made an interesting discovery a few years back. By simplifying one of the accepted formulas for this constant, he found that the constant can be expressed solely in terms of the atom and the energy required to ionize it.

Enos Øye made the discovery that the Fine-structure constant is equal to the wavelength of the electron of a hydrogen atom, divided by half the wavelength of the photon required to kick it out of orbit, thus ionizing the hydrogen atom. The fine structure constant relates the energy of an electron in orbit around a proton with the energy of the photon required to free it from its orbit.

With respect to my own work on the atom, I found one detail in Øye’s work particularly interesting. It turns out that the best fit between theoretical calculations and measured values was achieved when Øye used the Bohr radius in combination with the Bary radius. This can be seen in his calculations pictured above.

The Bohr radius uses the center of the proton as origo, while the Bary radius includes the fact that both the electron and the proton have mass, putting the origo a little away from the geometric center of the proton. The fact that both are required is a big clue as to the nature of electron orbits.

If the electron clouds observed around the nuclei of atoms are purely statistical phenomena, then there should be no need for a Bary radius. On the other hand, if the electron is moving in an orbit, like a moon around a planet, then the Bary radius should be used on its own. The electron orbit is in other words neither a purely statistical phenomenon nor a conventional orbit.

This is exactly what we should expect if the electron is bouncing on the atomic nucleus as suggested in by book. A bouncing electron would neither orbit, nor be completely random. It would be something in between, precisely as required by Enos Øye in his calculations on the Fine-structure constant.

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