Document Type


Publication Date



The observed 97.7% optical transparency of graphene has been linked to the value 1/137 of the fine structure constant, by using results for noninteracting Dirac fermions. The agreement in three significant figures requires an explanation for the apparent unimportance of the Coulomb interaction. Using arguments based on Ward identities, the leading corrections to the optical conductivity due to the Coulomb interactions are correctly computed (resolving a theoretical dispute) and shown to amount to only 1%-2%, corresponding to 0.03%-0.04% in the transparency. © 2009 The American Physical Society.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics