On Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 1:36 PM John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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,

There is no theoretical value". All the values that we have are measured --
often in different ways, or from the results of different experiments to
measure the same things, such as g-2, so there can be a range of measured
results. The CODATA value is their best-fit value to the whole range of
different experimental measurements. But in the final analysis, the fine
structure constant is an arbitrary physical constant that must be measured
-- there is no "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.

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