Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics
The S Matrix
By (author) James T. Cushing
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Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics by James T. Cushing
Book DescriptionOne 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 DetailsISBN: 9780521381819
(228mm x 152mm x 27mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 28-Sep-1990
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author James T. Cushing
Theory Construction and Selection in Modern Physics, Paperback (July 2005)
Analyses what criteria should determine how scientific theories are selected and justified.
Philosophical Concepts in Physics, Paperback (January 1998)
History and philosophy of science textbook on the relation between philosophy and physics.
Quantum Mechanics, Paperback (August 1994)» View all books by James T. Cushing
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.
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