Hawking radiation and analogue experiments: A Bayesian analysis

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67:1-11 (2019)
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We present a Bayesian analysis of the epistemology of analogue experiments with particular reference to Hawking radiation. Provided such experiments can be externally validated via universality arguments, we prove that they are confirmatory in Bayesian terms. We then provide a formal model for the scaling behaviour of the confirmation measure for multiple distinct realisations of the analogue system and isolate a generic saturation feature. Finally, we demonstrate that different potential analogue realisations could provide different levels of confirmation. Our results thus provide a basis both to formalise the epistemic value of analogue experiments that have been conducted and to advise scientists as to the respective epistemic value of future analogue experiments.


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Author Profiles

Eric Winsberg
University of South Florida
Stephan Hartmann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Radin Dardashti
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
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Citations of this work

Computer Simulations in Science.Eric Winsberg - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
On the Limits of Experimental Knowledge.Peter Evans & Karim P. Y. Thebault - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 378 (2177).
Confirmation by analogy.Francesco Nappo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-26.

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Scientific reasoning: the Bayesian approach.Peter Urbach & Colin Howson - 1993 - Chicago: Open Court. Edited by Peter Urbach.
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 1785 - University Park, Pa.: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Derek R. Brookes & Knud Haakonssen.

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