Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics by James T. Cushing
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Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics
By James T. Cushing

Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics

The S Matrix

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Format: Paperback

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Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics by James T. Cushing

Book Description

One of the major philosophical problems in physical sciences is what criteria should determine how scientific theories are selected and justified in practice and whether, in describing observable physical phenomena, such theories are effectively constrained to be unique. This book studies the example of a particular theory, the S-matrix theory. The S-matrix program was initiated by Heisenberg to deal with difficulties encountered in quantum field theories in describing particular phenomena. Since then, each theory has at different times been favoured as the explanation of observed phenomena. Certainly the S-matrix theory was adequate, feasible and fertile. However, the quantum field theory interpretation is now widely accepted and the study of alternative theories is all but abandoned. By examining the philosophy which influenced the turns in this story, the author explains how an adequate and viable theory fell out of favour and concludes with a critique of different methodologies in the history of science. This book will be of value to both philosophers of science and physicists interested in the philosophical background to their field.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521017305
ISBN-10: 0521017300
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Pages: 428
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 7-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author James T. Cushing

Philosophical Concepts in Physics by James T. Cushing Philosophical Concepts in Physics, Paperback (January 1998)

History and philosophy of science textbook on the relation between philosophy and physics.

Quantum Mechanics by James T. Cushing Quantum Mechanics, Paperback (August 1994)

In examining the role that timing can play in the establishment of theory and explanation, this book argues that the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics was accepted not because it was better than David Bohm's (who supplied an alternative explanation), but because it appeared first.

Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics by James T. Cushing Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics, Hardback (September 1990)

Analyses what criteria should determine how scientific theories are selected and justified.

» View all books by James T. Cushing

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