Fundamental times, lengths and physical constants: Some unknown contributions by Ettore Majorana

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Abstract

We review the introduction in physics of the concepts of an elementary space length and of a fundamental time scale, analyzing some related unknown contributions by Ettore Majorana. In particular, we discuss the quasi-Coulombian scattering in presence of a finite length scale, as well as the introduction of an intrinsic (universal) time delay in the expressions for the retarded electromagnetic potentials. Finally, we also review a special model considered by Majorana in order to deduce the value of the elementary charge, in such a way anticipating key ideas later introduced in quantum electrodynamics.

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