Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (1):53-75 (2001)
I reappraise in detail Hertz's cathode ray experiments. I show that, contrary to Buchwald 's evaluation, the core experiment establishing the electrostatic properties of the rays was successfully replicated by Perrin and Thomson. Buchwald 's discussion of 'current purification' is shown to be a red herring. My investigation of the origin of Buchwald 's misinterpretation of this episode reveals that he was led astray by a focus on what Hertz 'could do'-his experimental resources. I argue that one should focus instead on what Hertz wanted to achieve-his experimental goals. Focusing on these goals, I find that his explicit and implicit requirements for a successful investigation of the rays' properties are met by Perrin and Thomson. Thus, even by Hertz's standards, they did indeed replicate his experiment
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References found in this work BETA
Experimenting in the Natural Sciences.H. Radder - 1995 - In Jed Z. Buchwald (ed.), Scientific Practice: Theories and Stories of Doing Physics. University of Chicago Press.
&Why Hertz Was Right About Cathode Rays'.Jed Z. Buchwald - 1995 - In Scientific Practice: Theories and Stories of Doing Physics. University of Chicago Press. pp. 151.
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