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Physicists Nail Down the ‘Magic Number’ That Shapes the Universe.

A team in Paris has made the most precise measurement yet of the fine-structure constant, killing hopes for a new force of nature.

The fine-structure constant was introduced in 1916 to quantify the tiny gap between two lines in the spectrum of colors emitted by certain atoms. The closely spaced frequencies are seen here through a Fabry-Pérot interferometer. As fundamental constants go, the speed of light, c, enjoys all the fame, yet c’s numerical value says nothing about nature; it […]

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