David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 26 (2):121-136 (1995)
Many of the experiments that produced the empirical basis of quantum mechanics relied on classical assumptions that contradicted quantum mechanics. Historically this did not cause practical problems, as classical mechanics was used mostly when it did not happen to diverge too much from quantum mechanics in the quantitative sense. That fortunate circumstances, however, did not alleviate the conceptual problems involved in understanding the classical experimental reasoning in quantum-mechanical terms. In general, this type of difficulty can be expected when a coherent scientific tradition undergoes a theoretical upheaval. The problem may be circumvented through the use of phenomenological theory in experimentation during the period of theoretical instability.
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