This is an interesting question, Amber.
Normally, Planck's constant (usually called h) has a value of
6.2618 x 10^-34 Joule-seconds (J*s). This is an important constant in
Quantum Mechanics. So if we were to increase Planck's constant by about
10^14, what would happen?
A lot would change. For one thing, I doubt that there would be any
atoms in the universe. The energy required to ionize hydrogen depends
on h^-2. Ionizing is giving the electron of an atom enough energy to
leave the hold of the nucleus. So if we increase h by 10^14, then the
ionization energy of hydrogen would decrease by 10^-28.
That is miniscule compared to the current energy needed to break an
electron off of an atom would decrease dramatically. So if you were to
excite an atom even a little bit, it would ionize.
Also, even if there were some stable atoms, they would be HUGE. The
radius of an atom depends on h^2. So the atom would go from being 0.53
x 10^-10 meters (too small to see) to 0.53 x 10^18 meters. That's 100
times the distance to the nearest star!
So the universe would be completely different if we were to change planck's constant so drastically.
I hope this kind of answers your question.
(published on 10/22/2007)