In A. Warwick (ed.), Histories of the Electron: The Birth of Microphysics. pp. 451--465 (2001)
We have now celebrated the centenary of J. J. Thomson’s famous paper (1897) on the electron and have examined one hundred years of the history of our first fundamental particle. What should philosophers of science learn from this history? To some, the fundamental moral is already suggested by the rapid pace of this history. Thomson’s concern in 1897 was to demonstrate that cathode rays are electrified particles and not aetherial vibrations, the latter being the “almost unanimous opinion of German physicists” (p. 293) But were these German physicists so easily vanquished? De Broglie proposed in 1923 that electrons are a wave phenomenon after all and his proposal was soon multiply vindicated, even by the detection of the diffraction of the electron waves. Should we not learn from such a reversal? Should we not dispense with the simple-minded idea that Thomson discovered our first fundamental particle and admit that the very notion of discovery might well be ill-suited to science?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism.Steven French - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):164-173.
The Structure of Causal Sets.Christian Wüthrich - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (2):223-241.
Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism.Steven French - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):164-173.
Conditions May Apply.Paul Dicken - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):290-293.
Similar books and articles
The Theory-Dependence of the Use of Instruments in Science.Alan Chalmers - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (3):493-509.
Electron Spin or “Classically Non-Describable Two-Valuedness”.Domenico Giulini - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (3):557-578.
With Iterative and Bosonized Coupling Towards Fundamental Particle Properties.Bernd Binder - unknown
Rethinking the 'Discovery' of the Electron.Theodore Arabatzis - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27 (4):405-435.
Particles and Waves: Historical Essays in the Philosophy of Science.Peter Achinstein - 1991 - Oxford University Press.
The First Subatomic Explanations of the Periodic System.Helge Kragh - 2001 - Foundations of Chemistry 3 (2):129-143.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads66 ( #80,510 of 2,177,930 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #39,605 of 2,177,930 )
How can I increase my downloads?