On Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 7:49 PM Bruce Kellett <bhkellet...@gmail.com> wrote:

>>The following 2012 article in Physical Review letters describes a QED
>> calculation involving 12,672 tenth order Feynman diagrams used to
>> calculate both the magnetic moment of the electron and the inverse of the
>> Fine Structure Constant and obtaining a value of 137.035999173 which is
>> almost exactly the same as the experimentally derived value:
> >That is an experimentally derived value!!!!!

No,  the experimentally derived value is 137.035999139

*>Your original claim was that the fine structure constant was computable. *

I said that was my intuition, I don't have a proof.

> *it is a physical constant that must be measured.*

I know, that's why I said the Fine Structure Constant was defined
physically not mathematically,  and that's why any physical theory that is
in conflict with that measured value for the FSC can not be a good theory.
Feynman's QED is not in conflict with it, in fact it produced the closest
agreement between experiment and theory in the entire history of science.

> *But it is not computable from first principles,*

That depends on what the first principle is, if its charged particles
behave the way Feynman said they do then you can compute a value for the
FSC that is very very close to the best measured one. Maybe when
measurement becomes more precise a statistically significant discrepancy
will show up between the experimental value and the theoretical value, if
so we'll have to fine something better than Feynman Diagrams because in
science when experiment and theory fight experiment always wins.

> *>You have to define what you mean by "computable". *

The Fine Structure Constant is computable if and only if there exists a
finite algorithm that can work on a finite amount of data and produce a
number in a finite amount of time that is arbitrarily close to it.  I don't
claim to have such a algorithm I'm just saying my hunch is it exists and
Feynman gives us reason for optimism. But I could be wrong.

John K Clark

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