The Uses of Experiment: Studies in the Natural Sciences
Cambridge University Press, May 18, 1989 - Science - 481 pages
Experiment is widely regarded as the most distinctive feature of natural science and essential to the way scientists find out about the world. Yet there has been little study of the way scientists actually make and use experiments. The Uses of Experiment fills this gap in our knowledge about how science is practised. Presenting 14 original case studies of important and often famous experiments, the book asks the questions: What tools do experimenters use? How do scientists argue from experiments? What happens when an experiment is challenged? How do scientists check that their experiments are working? Are there differences between experiments in the physical sciences and technology? Leading scholars in the fields of history, sociology and philosophy of science consider topics such as the interaction of experiment; instruments and theory; accuracy and reliability as hallmarks of experiment in science and technology; realising new phenomena; the believability of experiments and the sort of knowledge they produce; and the wider contexts on which experimentalists draw to develop and win support for their work. Drawing on examples as diverse as Galilean mechanics, Victorian experiments on electricity, experiments on cloud formation, and testing of nuclear missiles, a new view of experiment emerges. This view emphasises that experiments always involve choice, tactics and strategy in persuading audiences that Nature resembles the picture experimenters create.
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Scientific instruments models of brass and aids to discovery
Glass works Newtons prisms and the uses of experiment
A viol of water or a wedge of glass
EXPERIMENT AND ARGUMENT
Galileos experimental discourse
Fresnel Poisson and the white sport the role of successful predictions in the acceptance of scientific theories
The rhetoric of experiment
REPRESENTING AND REALISING
Justification and experiment
THE CONSTITUENCY OF EXPERIMENT
Extraordinary experiment electricity and the creation of life in Victorian England
Why did Britain join CERN?
HALLMARKS OF EXPERIMENT
From Kwajalein to Armageddon? Testing and the social construction of missile accuracy
The epistemology of experiment
acari accuracy Aitken apparatus argued argument artifacts Ben Nevis British C.T.R. Wilson Cambridge University Press Cavendish century CERN charge circular error probable claims cloud chamber Collins colours concept condensation construction context Crosse Crosse's crucial demonstration Desaguliers Dialogue diffraction discourse discovery discussed electromagnetic empirical example experiment experimental experimentum crucis explain fact Faraday Faraday's Fresnel Galileo Galison glass Hackmann History of Science ical important instrumental model interaction interest ions J.J. Thomson justification knowledge Kwajalein laboratory logical London magnetic material procedures mathematical means ment method methodology Michael Faraday missile Morpurgo natural philosophy Newton nuclear observation optical paper particles phenomena phenomenal models philosophers Philosophy of Science physicists physics Pickering practice prediction prisms problem produced quarks rays reconstruction refraction replication rhetoric Rizzetti role Royal Society Schaffer scientific scientists Shapin social stabilisation techniques telescope testing theoretical Thomson tion Trevor Pinch trials William Sturgeon
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