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Experiment, Right or Wrong

$45.99 (C)

  • Date Published: June 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521064774

$ 45.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In Experiment, Right or Wrong, Allan Franklin continues his investigation of the history and philosophy of experiment presented in his previous book, The Neglect of Experiment. In this new study, Franklin considers the fallibility and corrigibility of experimental results and presents detailed histories of two such episodes: 1) the experiment and the development of the theory of weak interactions from Fermi's theory in 1934 to the V-A theory of 1957 and 2) atomic parity violation experiments and the Weinberg-Salam unified theory of electroweak interactions of the 1970s and 1980s. In these episodes Franklin demonstrates not only that experimental results can be wrong, but also that theoretical calculations and the comparison between experiment and theory can also be incorrect. In the second episode, Franklin contrasts his view of an "evidence model" of science in which questions of theory choice, confirmation, and refutation are decided on the basis of reliable experimental evidence, with that proposed by the social constructivists.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "For accounts of how experiments in modern physics are actually conducted and validated, Franklin's books rank with Peter Galison's 'How Experiments End' as the best we have." John Earman, Foundations of Physics

    "Allan Franklin is among those who believe that 'experiment has a life of its own. He has been extensively studying scientific experiments, and his new book presents some of his findings...It provides an excellent example of today's scholarship in the history of modern science." Yuelin Zhu, ISIS

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521064774
    • length: 244 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.362kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Experiment and the Development of the Theory of Weak Interactions: From Fermi to V-A:
    1. Fermi's theory
    2. Toward a universal Fermi interaction
    muons and pions
    3. Beta-decay theory following World War II
    4. The discovery of parity nonconversation
    5. The V-A theory of weak interactions and its acceptance
    Part II. Toward a Philosophy of Experiment:
    6. Experimental results
    7. The roles of experiment
    8. Do mutants have to be slain, or do they die of natural causes? The case of atomic parity-violation experiments

  • Author

    Allan Franklin

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