Extra dimensions to remove singularities and determine fundamental constants

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The structure of atoms in an intense magnetic field (≂1012 G) is analyzed as a problem of “compactification” of dimensions. The motion of the electrons is reduced effectively to one dimension, with the dimensions transverse to the field direction frozen at small values. The analysis shows how a reduction in dimensions accounts for the removal of seeming singularities in the structure of atoms and for the occurrence of what appear to be fundamental constants that govern this structure. Thereby, this elementary problem of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics provides analogs of similar studies now being pursued in supergravity and other unified field theories. © 1985, American Association of Physics Teachers. All rights reserved.

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American Journal of Physics

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