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. Using a combination of case studies and philosophical readings of those studies, Franklin again addresses two important questions: (1) What role does and should experiment play in the choice between competing theories and in the confirmation or refutation of theories and hypotheses? (2) How do we come to believe reasonably in experimental results? Experiment, Right or Wrong makes a significant contribution to an important area in contemporary history and philosophy of science. Philosophers and historians of science, physicists, and advanced students in these areas will find much of interest in this engaging study.
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
Part II. Toward a Philosophy of Experiment: 6.
7. The roles of experiment
8. Do mutants have to be slain, or do they die
of natural causes? The case of atomic