Universal Constants and Natural Systems of Units in a Spacetime of Arbitrary Dimension

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We study the properties of fundamental physical constants using the threefold classification of dimensional constants proposed by J.-M. Lévy-Leblond: constants of objects (masses, etc.), constants of phenomena (coupling constants), and “universal constants” (such as c and ℏ). We show that all of the known “natural” systems of units contain at least one non-universal constant. We discuss the possible consequences of such non-universality, e.g., the dependence of some of these systems on the number of spatial dimensions. In the search for a “fully universal” system of units, we propose a set of constants that consists of c, ℏ, and a length parameter and discuss its origins and the connection to the possible kinematic groups discovered by Lévy-Leblond and Bacry. Finally, we give some comments about the interpretation of these constants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number166
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • natural units
  • universal constants
  • Planck units
  • dimensional analysis
  • kinematic groups


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