### Alpha, the fine structure constant.

 In modern quantum physics, the non-dimensional constant, alpha, shows up so often it is considered to be a fundamental physical constant in its own right.  Its official definition, however, is a rather cryptic composite of other constants:$\alpha =\frac{e^{2}}{4\pi \epsilon _{0}\hbar c}\approx 1/137$The definition of alpha can be simplified, however, by considering the classical electron radius; the hypothetical distance between two quantum charges which would result in a potential energy of mec2.$r_{e}m_{e}c^{2}=\frac{e^{2}}{4\pi \epsilon _{0}}$Or;$r_{e}m_{e}c^{2}=\alpha \hbar c=\alpha \frac{\lambda _{C}}{2\pi }m_{e}c^{2}$Where lambda-C is the Compton wavelength of the electron.$\therefore \alpha= 2\pi \frac{r_{e}}{\lambda _{C} }$This, more civilized, definition will be used in this web site.