Scientific Practice: Theories and Stories of Doing Physics

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$90.00
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $96.45
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 2%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $96.45   
  • New (2) from $96.45   

Overview

Most recent work on the nature of experiment in physics has focused on "big science"--the large-scale research addressed in Andrew Pickering's Constructing Quarks and Peter Galison's How Experiments End.

This book examines small-scale experiment in physics, in particular the relation between theory and practice. The contributors focus on interactions among the people, materials, and ideas involved in experiments-- factors that have been relatively neglected in science studies. The first half of the book is primarily philosophical, with contributions from Andrew Pickering, Peter Galison, Hans Radder, Brian Baigrie, and Yves Gingras. Among the issues they address are the resources deployed by theoreticians and experimenters, the boundaries that constrain theory and practice, the limits of objectivity, the reproducibility of results, and the intentions of researchers. The second half is devoted to historical case studies in the practice of physics from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century. These chapters address failed as well as successful experimental work ranging from Victorian astronomy through Hertz's investigation of cathode rays to Trouton's attempt to harness the ether. Contributors to thissection are Jed Z. Buchwald, Giora Hon, Margaret Morrison, Simon Schaffer, and Andrew Warwick.

With a lucid introduction by Ian Hacking, and original articles by noted scholars in the history and philosophy of science, this book is poised to become a significant source on the nature of small-scale experiment in physics.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Papers from the small March 1990 conference Table Top Experiments: Philosophical and Historiographic Questions about Small-Scale Experimentation in the Physical Sciences, held in Toronto. Five treat theoretical concerns such as the temporality of practice and the historicity of knowledge, a philosophical approach to experimenting in the natural science, and following scientists through society at arm's length. Another five recount such examples as Herz and cathode rays, Kaufmann and the identification of experimental error, and Victorian astronomy. Assumes some general but no specialized knowledge of science. Paper edition (07890-6), $24.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226078892
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Jed Z. Buchwald is Doris and Henry Dreyfuss Professor of History at California Institute of Technology. He was previously director of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at Massachusets Institute of Technology.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Analytical Contents
1 Introduction 1
2 Context and Constraints 13
3 Beyond Constraint: The Temporality of Practice and the Historicity of Knowledge 42
4 Experimenting in the Natural Sciences: A Philosophical Approach 56
5 Scientific Practice: The View from the Tabletop 87
6 Following Scientists through Society? Yes, but at Arm's Length! 123
7 Why Hertz Was Right about Cathode Rays 151
8 Is the Identification of Experimental Error Contextually Dependent? The Case of Kaufmann's Experiment and Its Varied Reception 170
9 Scientific Conclusions and Philosophical Arguments: An Inessential Tension 224
10 Where Experiments End: Tabletop Trials in Victorian Astronomy 257
11 The Sturdy Protestants of Science: Larmor, Trouton, and the Earth's Motion through the Ether 300
Conclusion 345
References 353
Contributors 385
Index 387
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)