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  1. Naturalness and the Forward-Looking Justification of Scientific Principles.Enno Fischer - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    It has been suggested that particle physics has reached the "dawn of the post-naturalness era." I provide an explanation of the current shift in particle physicists' attitude towards naturalness. I argue that the naturalness principle was perceived to be supported by the theories it has inspired. The potential coherence between major beyond the Standard Model (BSM) proposals and the naturalness principle led to an increasing degree of credibility of the principle among particle physicists. The absence of new physics at the (...)
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  2. What is a Beautiful Experiment?Milena Ivanova - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    This article starts an engagement on the aesthetics of experiments and offers an account for analysing how aesthetics features in the design, evaluation and reception of experiments. I identify two dimensions of aesthetic evaluation of experiments: design and significance. When it comes to design, a number of qualities, such as simplicity, economy and aptness, are analysed and illustrated with the famous Meselson-Stahl experiment. Beautiful experiments are also regarded to make significant discoveries, but I argue against a narrow construal of experimental (...)
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  3. Theoretical Virtues: Do Scientists Think What Philosophers Think They Ought to Think?Samuel Schindler - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):542-564.
    Theoretical virtues play an important role in the acceptance and belief of theories in science and philosophy. Philosophers have well-developed views on which virtues ought and ought not to influence one’s acceptance and belief. But what do scientists think? This paper presents the results of a quantitative study with scientists from the natural and social sciences and compares their views to those held by philosophers. Some of the more surprising results are: all three groups have a preference order regarding theoretical (...)
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  4. Telling Stories in Science: Feyerabend and Thought Experiments.Michael T. Stuart - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):262-281.
    The history of the philosophy of thought experiments has touched on the work of Kuhn, Popper, Duhem, Mach, Lakatos, and other big names of the 20th century, but so far, almost nothing has been written about Paul Feyerabend. His most influential work was Against Method, 8 chapters of which concern a case study of Galileo with a specific focus on Galileo’s thought experiments. In addition, the later Feyerabend was very interested in what might be called the epistemology of drama, including (...)
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  5. Is Mathematics Unreasonably Effective?Daniel Waxman - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):83-99.
    Many mathematicians, physicists, and philosophers have suggested that the fact that mathematics—an a priori discipline informed substantially by aesthetic considerations—can be applied to natural science is mysterious. This paper sharpens and responds to a challenge to this effect. I argue that the aesthetic considerations used to evaluate and motivate mathematics are much more closely connected with the physical world than one might presume, and (with reference to case-studies within Galois theory and probabilistic number theory) show that they are correlated with (...)
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  6. The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding.Milena Ivanova & Steven French (eds.) - 2020 - Routledge.
    This volume builds on two recent developments in philosophy on the relationship between art and science: the notion of representation and the role of values in theory choice and the development of scientific theories. Its aim is to address questions regarding scientific creativity and imagination, the status of scientific performances--such as thought experiments and visual aids--and the role of aesthetic considerations in the context of discovery and justification of scientific theories. Several contributions focus on the concept of beauty as employed (...)
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  7. The Aesthetic and Literary Qualities of Scientific Thought Experiments.Alice Murphy - 2020 - In Milena Ivanova & Steven French (eds.), The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding.
    Is there a role for aesthetic judgements in science? One aspect of scientific practice, the use of thought experiments, has a clear aesthetic dimension. Thought experiments are creatively produced artefacts that are designed to engage the imagination. Comparisons have been made between scientific (and philosophical) thought experiments and other aesthetically appreciated objects. In particular, thought experiments are said to share qualities with literary fiction as they invite us to imagine a fictional scenario and often have a narrative form (Elgin 2014). (...)
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  8. Systematizing the Theoretical Virtues.Michael Keas - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2761-2793.
    There are at least twelve major virtues of good theories: evidential accuracy, causal adequacy, explanatory depth, internal consistency, internal coherence, universal coherence, beauty, simplicity, unification, durability, fruitfulness, and applicability. These virtues are best classified into four classes: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Each virtue class contains at least three virtues that sequentially follow a repeating pattern of progressive disclosure and expansion. Systematizing the theoretical virtues in this manner clarifies each virtue and suggests how they might have a coordinated and cumulative (...)
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  9. The Aesthetics of Theory Selection and the Logics of Art.Ian O’Loughlin & Kate McCallum - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (2):325-343.
    Philosophers of science discuss whether theory selection depends on aesthetic judgments or criteria, and whether these putatively aesthetic features are genuinely extra-epistemic. As examples, judgments involving criteria such as simplicity and symmetry are often cited. However, other theory selection criteria, such as fecundity, coherence, internal consistency, and fertility, more closely match those criteria used in art contexts and by scholars working in aesthetics. Paying closer attention to the way these criteria are used in art contexts allows us to understand some (...)
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  10. Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.
    Scientists often use aesthetic values in the evaluation and choice of theories. Aesthetic values are not only regarded as leading to practically more useful theories but are often taken to stand in a special epistemic relation to the truth of a theory such that the aesthetic merit of a theory is evidence of its truth. This paper explores what aesthetic considerations influence scientists' reasoning, how such aesthetic values relate to the utility of a scientific theory, and how one can justify (...)
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  11. Teaching and Learning Guide for Aesthetics of Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12443.
  12. Meta-Metaphysics: On Metaphysical Equivalence, Primitiveness, and Theory Choice.Jiri Benovsky - 2016 - Springer.
    Metaphysical theories are beautiful. I mean it literally. At the end of this book, I defend the view that metaphysical theories possess aesthetic properties and that these play a crucial role when it comes to theory evaluation and theory choice. But this is the end of a long journey – a journey that is perhaps more important than the destination. Before we get there, the philosophical path I propose to follow starts with three discussions of metaphysical equivalence. I argue that (...)
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  13. The Principle of Economy as an Evaluation Criterion of Theories.Styrman Avril - 2014 - la Nuova Critica 63:63-89.
    The principle of economy favours the theory which gives the most accurate predictions; of two equally accurate theories, economy favours the one which incorporates least metaphysics. The intention is to show that were metaphysical commitments of theories openly acknowledged and simplicity and other virtues generally accepted as judges in theory choice, the progress rate of science would likely become more optimal.
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  14. V—Aesthetics in Science: A Kantian Proposal.Angela Breitenbach - 2013 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (1pt1):83-100.
    Can aesthetic judgements legitimately be linked to the success of scientific theories? I suggest that a satisfactory answer to this question should account for the persistent attraction that aesthetic considerations seem to have for scientists, while also explaining the apparent instability of the link between the beauty of a theory and its truth. I argue that two widespread tendencies in the literature, Pythagorean and subjectivist approaches, have difficulties meeting this twofold challenge. I propose a Kantian conception of aesthetic judgements as (...)
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  15. Introduction: New Light on Visual Forms in the Early-Modern Arts and Sciences.Isla Fay Jardine & Nicholas - 2013 - Early Science and Medicine 18 (1-2):1-8.
  16. Subjectivity and Emotion in Scientific Research.Jeff Kochan - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):354-362.
    A persistent puzzle for philosophers of science is the well-documented appeal made by scientists to their aesthetic emotions in the course of scientific research. Emotions are usually viewed as irremediably subjective, and thus of no epistemological interest. Yet, by denying an epistemic role for scientists’ emotional dispositions, philosophers find themselves in the awkward position of ignoring phenomena which scientists themselves often insist are of importance. This paper suggests a possible solution to this puzzle by challenging the wholesale identification of emotion (...)
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  17. Beauty in Science: A New Model of the Role of Aesthetic Evaluations in Science. [REVIEW]Ulianov Montano - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):133-156.
    In Beauty and Revolution in Science, James McAllister advances a rationalistic picture of science in which scientific progress is explained in terms of aesthetic evaluations of scientific theories. Here I present a new model of aesthetic evaluations by revising McAllister’s core idea of the aesthetic induction. I point out that the aesthetic induction suffers from anomalies and theoretical inconsistencies and propose a model free from such problems. The new model is based, on the one hand, on McAllister’s original model and (...)
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  18. The Aesthetics of Laboratory Inscription: Claude Bernard's Cahier Rouge.Atia Sattar - 2013 - Isis 104 (1):63-85.
    This essay explores the aesthetic sensibilities of the French physiologist Claude Bernard . In particular, it analyzes the Cahier Rouge , Bernard's acclaimed laboratory notebook. In this notebook, Bernard articulates the range of his experience as an experimental physiologist, juxtaposing without differentiation details of laboratory procedure and more personal queries, doubts, and reflections on experimentation, life, and art. Bernard's insights, it is argued, offer an aesthetic and phenomenological template for considering experimentation. His physiological point of view ranges from his own (...)
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  19. Leśniewski’s Characteristica Universalis.Arianna Betti - 2010 - Synthese 174 (2):295-314.
    Leśniewski’s systems deviate greatly from standard logic in some basic features. The deviant aspects are rather well known, and often cited among the reasons why Leśniewski’s work enjoys little recognition. This paper is an attempt to explain why those aspects should be there at all. Leśniewski built his systems inspired by a dream close to Leibniz’s characteristica universalis: a perfect system of deductive theories encoding our knowledge of the world, based on a perfect language. My main claim is that Leśniewski (...)
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  20. Elegance in Science: The Beauty of Simplicity.Ian Glynn - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    The meaning of elegance -- Celestial mechanics : the route to Newton -- Bringing the heavens down to earth -- So what is heat? -- Elegance and electricity -- Throwing light on light : with the story of Thomas Young -- How do nerves work? -- Information handling in the brain -- The genetic code -- Epilogue : a cautionary tale.
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  21. Aesthetic and Other Theoretical Virtues in Science.Jason Simus - 2009 - American Society for Aesthetics Graduate E-Journal 1 (2):9-16.
    I first provide an introduction to a neglected topic in contemporary aesthetics: intellectual beauty. I then review James McAllister’s critique of autonomism and reductionism regarding the relation between empirical and aesthetic criteria in scientific theory evaluation. Finally, I critique McAllister’s “aesthetic induction” and defend an alternative model that emphasizes the holistic coherence of aesthetic and other theoretical virtues in scientific theorizing.
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  22. Unmasking the Truth Beneath the Beauty: Why the Supposed Aesthetic Judgements Made in Science May Not Be Aesthetic at All.Cain S. Todd - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):61 – 79.
    In this article I examine the status of putative aesthetic judgements in science and mathematics. I argue that if the judgements at issue are taken to be genuinely aesthetic they can be divided into two types, positing either a disjunction or connection between aesthetic and epistemic criteria in theory/proof assessment. I show that both types of claim face serious difficulties in explaining the purported role of aesthetic judgements in these areas. I claim that the best current explanation of this role, (...)
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  23. Beautiful Evidence. [REVIEW]Laura Perini - 2007 - Isis 98:667-668.
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  24. Pythagorean Heuristic in Physics.Sorin Bangu - 2006 - Perspectives on Science 14 (4):387-416.
    : Some of the great physicists' belief in the existence of a connection between the aesthetical features of a theory (such as beauty and simplicity) and its truth is still one of the most intriguing issues in the aesthetics of science. In this paper I explore the philosophical credibility of a version of this thesis, focusing on the connection between the mathematical beauty and simplicity of a theory and its truth. I discuss a heuristic interpretation of this thesis, attempting to (...)
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  25. Aesthetic Induction Versus Coherence: Reply to Paul Thagard.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 84 (1):371-374.
  26. Beauty, a Road to the Truth?David Miller - 2005 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 83 (1):341-355.
    Calling into service the theory of truth approximation of his (1997) and (2000), Kuipers defends the view that "beauty can be a road to the truth" and endorses the general conclusions of McAllister (1996) that aesthetic criteria reasonably play a role in theory selection in science. My comments pertain first to the general adequacy of Kuipers's theory of truth approximation; secondly to its methodological aspects; thirdly to the aetiolated role that aesthetic factors turn out to play in his account; and (...)
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  27. Virginia Woolf and the Discourse of Science: The Aesthetics of Astronomy. [REVIEW]Kathryn Neeley - 2005 - Isis 96:132-133.
  28. Mathematics and Aesthetic Considerations in Science.Mark Colyvan - 2002 - Mind 111 (441):69-74.
  29. The Omniscienter: Beauty and Scientific Understanding.Peter Kosso - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (1):39 – 48.
    Science has more to offer than just knowledge of nature; it can give us understanding of nature as well. Epistemology of science is usually focused on knowledge and the criteria of justification, while paying little attention to understanding. In a reversal of this emphasis, this article is more about scientific understanding. I argue that the hallmarks of understanding are similar to an aesthetic feature associated with literature, music, and the visual arts. It is the feature described as coherence, harmony, and (...)
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  30. Before Cosmophysics: E.A. Milne on Mathematics and Physics.Helge Kragh & Simon Rebsdorf - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (1):35-50.
    This paper examines the thoughts and early career of the astrophysicist and cosmologist E. A. Milne. Although Milne only turned to cosmology in 1932, many of the ideas that characterised his heterodox system of world physics can be traced back to his works from the 1920s. Contrary to what has been stated in the literature, we argue that Milne was familiar with and interested in cosmology even before 1932. The relationship between mathematics and physics, an important topic in Milne's cosmophysics, (...)
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  31. Recent Work on Aesthetics of Science.James W. McAllister - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (1):7 – 11.
    This introduction to the special issue on "Aesthetics of Science" reviews recent philosophical research on aesthetic aspects of science. Topics represented in this research include the aesthetic properties of scientific images, theories, and experiments; the relation of science and art; the role of aesthetic criteria in scientific practice and their effect on the development of science; aesthetic aspects of mathematics; the contrast between a classic and a Romantic aesthetic; and the relation between emotion, cognition, and rationality.
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  32. Aesthetic Priority in Science and Religion.Robert J. Valenza - 2002 - Process Studies 31 (1):49-76.
  33. Galileo Engineer: Art and Modern Science.Wolfgang Lefèvre - 2001 - Science in Context 14 (s1):11-27.
    in spite of koyré's conclusions, there are sufficient reasons to claim that galileo, and with him the beginnings of classical mechanics in early modern times, was closely related to practical mechanics. it is, however, not completely clear how, and to what extent, practitioners and engineers could have had a part in shaping the modern sciences. by comparing the beginnings of modern dynamics with the beginnings of statics in antiquity, and in particular with archimedes — whose rediscovery in the sixteenth century (...)
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  34. Comprehensibility Rather Than Beauty.Nicholas Maxwell - 2001 - PhilSci Archive.
    Most scientists and philosophers of science recognize that, when it comes to accepting and rejecting theories in science, considerations that have to do with simplicity, unity, symmetry, elegance, beauty or explanatory power have an important role to play, in addition to empirical considerations. Until recently, however, no one has been able to give a satisfactory account of what simplicity (etc.) is, or how giving preference to simple theories is to be justified. But in the last few years, two different but (...)
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  35. Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics by A. Zee. [REVIEW]James Mcallister - 2001 - Isis 92:130-131.
  36. What is the Problem of Ad Hoc Hypotheses?Greg Bamford - 1999 - Science & Education 8 (4):375 - 86..
    The received view of an ad hochypothesis is that it accounts for only the observation(s) it was designed to account for, and so non-ad hocness is generally held to be necessary or important for an introduced hypothesis or modification to a theory. Attempts by Popper and several others to convincingly explicate this view, however, prove to be unsuccessful or of doubtful value, and familiar and firmer criteria for evaluating the hypotheses or modified theories so classified are characteristically available. These points (...)
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  37. Beauty and Revolution in Science.James W. Mcallister - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (194):125-128.
  38. McAllister's Aesthetics in Science: A Critical Notice.David Davies - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1):25 – 32.
    In Beauty and Revolution in Science, James McAllister argues that a sophisticated rationalist image of science can accommodate two prominent features of actual scientific practice, namely, appeals to “aesthetic” criteria in theory choice, and the occurrence of scientific “revolutions”. The aesthetic criteria to which scientists appeal are, he maintains, inductively grounded in the empirical record of competing theories, and scientific revolutions involve changes in aestheic criteria bu continuity in empirical criteria of theory choice. I raise difficulties for McAllister's account concerning: (...)
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  39. The Elusive Synthesis: Aesthetics and Science by Alfred I. Tauber. [REVIEW]Nick Jardine - 1997 - Isis 88:747-748.
  40. Beauty and Revolution in Science by James W. McAllister. [REVIEW]Thomas Nickles - 1997 - Isis 88:746-747.
  41. Abductive Reasoning: Logic, Visual Thinking, and Coherence.P. Thagard & C. P. Shelley - 1997 - In [Book Chapter].
    This paper discusses abductive reasoning---that is, reasoning in which explanatory hypotheses are formed and evaluated. First, it criticizes two recent formal logical models of abduction. An adequate formalization would have to take into account the following aspects of abduction: explanation is not deduction; hypotheses are layered; abduction is sometimes creative; hypotheses may be revolutionary; completeness is elusive; simplicity is complex; and abductive reasoning may be visual and non-sentential. Second, in order to illustrate visual aspects of hypothesis formation, the paper describes (...)
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  42. Beauty & Revolution in Science.James W. McAllister - 1996 - Cornell University Press.
    The first systematic study of the aesthetic evaluations that scientists pass on their theories.
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  43. The Formation of Styles: Science and the Applied Arts.J. W. McAllister - 1995 - In Caroline Van Eck, James McAllister & Renée van de Vall (eds.), The question of style in philosophy and the arts.
  44. Principles and the Development of Physical Theory: Case Studies.Robert Corby Hovis - 1994 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    Three separate articles make up the chapters of this dissertation. They were written with different aims and audiences in mind, but each deals in some way with one or more "principles" that have been invoked in argumentation and explanation in the physical sciences. The principles of concern are propositions which have an "aesthetic" or "foundational" or "philosophical" character and which are generally believed to be widely applicable or particularly powerful--for example, the Principle of Plenitude, the Principle of Mathematical Beauty, Occam's (...)
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  45. The Poetic Structure of the World: Copernicus and Kepler.Fernand Hallyn - 1990 - Zone Books.
    The Poetic Structure of the World is a major reconsideration of a crucial turningpoint in Western thought and culture: the heliocentric revolution of Copernicus and Kepler. FernandHallyn treats the work of these two figures not simply in terms of the history of science orastronomy, but as events embedded in a wider field of images, symbols, texts, and practices. Thesenew representations of the universe, he insists, cannot be explained by recourse to explanations of"genius" or "intuition."Instead, Hallyn investigates the problem of how (...)
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  46. Truth and Beauty in Scientific Reason.James W. Mcallister - 1989 - Synthese 78 (1):25 - 51.
    A rationalist and realist model of scientific revolutions will be constructed by reference to two categories of criteria of theory-evaluation, denominated indicators of truth and of beauty. Whereas indicators of truth are formulateda priori and thus unite science in the pursuit of verisimilitude, aesthetic criteria are inductive constructs which lag behind the progression of theories in truthlikeness. Revolutions occur when the evaluative divergence between the two categories of criteria proves too wide to be recomposed or overlooked. This model of revolutions (...)
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  47. Aesthetic Factors in Natural Science.Nicholas Rescher - 1989 - Upa.
    This collection of essays originated from an interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Pittsburgh. Contents: Aesthetic Factors in Natural Science, by Nicholas Rescher; Three Arguments against Simplicity, by Kristin Shrader-Frechette; Simplicity and the Aesthetics of Explanation, by Joseph C. Pitt; Simplicity as an Epistemic Virtue: The View from the Neuronal Level, by Paul M. Churchland; Taming a Regulative Principle: From Kant to Schlick, by Matti Sintonen; Simplicity and Distinctness: The Limits of Referential Semantics, by Ulrich Majer; The Aesthetics of (...)
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  48. Truth and Beauty: Aesthetics and Motivations in Science by S. Chandrasekhar. [REVIEW]David Devorkin - 1988 - Isis 79:128-129.
  49. Cover Art of Science.David R. Kaplan - 1988 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 31 (2):185-187.
  50. Truth and Beauty: Aesthetics and Motivations in Science.S. Chandrasekhar - 1987 - University of Chicago Press.
    "Sir Hermann Bondi, NatureThe late S. Chandrasekhar was best known for his discovery of the upper limit to the mass of a white dwarf star, for which he received ...
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