α ≈ 0.00729735256808165960645673176456731764495045685537111230187845823412513012076619894
1/α ≈ 137.035999106574850947033487500102527970645630197858252856934296915428179524442063181

As of 2018-05-14 and 2023-10-13, the Fine Structure is now a defined constant

What does this equation tell us about the meaning of the Fine Structure Constant? Arnold Sommerfeld introduced the concept of the fine structure constant in 1916, during his extension of the Bohr model of the atom to include the relativistic relationship between mass and velocity and elliptical orbits.

Concerning the nucleus, Sommerfeld tried to connect the number 8 and the number of corners of a cube. Gluons that mediate the strong interaction between quarks only come in eight varieties. The number 8 figures prominently throughout this equation.

Concerning the electron field, we have only four shells. The maximum number of electrons that can fit in any given shell is given by 2n2. The Stowe Table of Elements shows the 2 8 18 32 sequence in visual form from 1s to 8s. In the Complete List of Orbitals there are only s, p, d, and f orbitals. G orbitals do not exist. This strongly implies that there will never be more than 120 elements. If there were more, then the Fine Structure Constant would have a different value.

The fine structure constant is explicitly related to both the nucleus of the atom and the surrounding electron cloud.