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About

There are over 200 subatomic particles, all of which have a necessary part to play. The reader is no doubt familiar with the fact that atoms are made of nuclei and electrons, and nuclei are made of protons and neutrons. However it may not be so well- known known that protons and neutrons are each made of three quarks of two varieties. Returning to the constants, let us now look first at the so-called fine structure constants.

 

I have listed some values to give just a rough idea as to their relative magnitudes. These constants are related to the four fundamental physical forces: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. The strong force holds atoms and composite subatomic particles together while the weak force is involved in radioactive decay.

 

The strong force and the electromagnetic force are precisely balanced; these determine the quantum energy levels for nuclei. The ratio of these two forces cannot vary by more than 1% without drastically affecting the needed abundance of carbon, a building block of life. A 2% increase in the ratio would mean that the universe would have no hydrogen, no long-lived stars that burn hydrogen, and there would be no water an essential for life.