IF you’re a fan of sci-fi you’re probably familiar with the number 42 theory.

In Douglas Adams’ famous novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the meaning of life is given as 42.

The most important number may not be 42


The most important number may not be 42Credit: Getty

However, physicist Richard Feynman has a totally different theory and some scientific facts to support it.

Feynman states that the most important number in the universe is around 1/137.

According to IFL Science, the specific number he’s referring to is 1/137.03599913.

This is a number referred to in physics as the fine structure constant.

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In his book called QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, the physicist explains: “All good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it.”

Some scientists believe that the number holds the secret to life.

In physics, 1/137.03599913 is the number that represents the strength of electromagnetic force between some electrically charged particles.

It’s a fundamental number in physics and our understanding of the universe.

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Feynman continues: “It’s one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man.

“You might say the ‘hand of God’ wrote that number, and ‘we don’t know how He pushed his pencil.’”

Scientists say if we had any other value for electromagnetic force between particles then life as we know it would be impossible.

It constantly pops up seemingly at random in equations when things like light and matter are calculated.

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Although the number is called a constant some scientists think that it’s changing and suggest it’s getting bigger over time.

If true, that could change the universe as we know it.

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