Can Mathematical Structure and Physical Reality be the Same Thing? –
An attempt to find the fine structure constant and other fundamental constants insuch a structure
Pinhas Ben-Avraham Thebock, 12/5 Rehov Rashi, Elad 48900, Israel
March 18, 2009; Revised October 7, 2009
Electric charge, fractional charge, fine structure constant, fundamental constants,dimensionality, uncertainty principle, mathematical universe, physical reality, Mach’s principle.
We try to demonstrate a simple mathematical structure’s properties as an observable physical reality or toy universe.Commencing from properties of an n-dimensional Euclidean structure we develop the motion of a point within thatstructure into a means to determine one or more interaction constants for this point in its geometrical environment. Wediscuss the implications of dimensionality and try to find a reasonable minimum amount of interpretation to let themathematical structure resemble an observable physical reality without “plugging in” constants. Instead, we only “plugin” some elementary concepts of physics we try to keep to a minimum. We discuss, without any claim to completeness,in what way the mathematical structure could be conceived as a physical reality or whether it could be a physicalreality. In this exercise we find the fine structure constant to be the most naturally emerging constant.
In 2006/7, Frank Wilczek [1, 2] stated that fundamental constants in physics, like for example interaction constants are purely numerical quantities whose values cannot be derivedfrom first principles, meaning, they are not derivable from equations describing certain physical theories, let alone real phenomena that also are not derivable from such equationswithout “plugging in” natural constants. He further stated that these natural constants makeup the link between equations and reality, and their values cannot be determinedconceptually.Arthur Eddington  tried for the greater part of his later life to find a geometrical principleto describe physics on the basis of the fine structure constant’s peculiar numerical value,1/137, to no avail. Koschmieder  uses lattice theory to explain the masses of the particlesof the Standard Model, concluding that “only” photons, neutrinos and electric charge areneeded to explain the masses of all the particles. He refers to MacGregor [5, 6, 7] who showsin three papers that the masses of the particles of the Standard Model depend solely on theelectron mass and the fine structure constant’s numerical value in natural units. Nottale et al.[8, 9] propose a model of “scale relativity” that solves the problem of the divergence of charges or coupling constants and self-energy with the fine structure constant, α = 1/137, onthe electron scale. They attempt to devise a geometrical framework in which motion laws arecompleted by scale laws. From these scale laws they obtain standard quantum mechanics asmechanics in a non-differentiable space-time
. In particular, in reference  Nottale
They do not arrive at a discrete space-time, but rather postulate it.