In the first of these two studies it is argued that the discrepancy between the predicted and actual outcome of the Michelson-Morley experiment is due to the use of Newton's velocity addition theorem in conjunction with an electromagnetic theory of light. The ether hypothesis is not directly affected at all. The second study is a case study of the removal of a clash in physics generated from the outcome of an experiment. The clash due to the Michelson-Morley experiment gave rise (...) to a program of revision. In the process of implementation of this program Newtonian mechanics was remolded. It is argued that the Riemannian space-time in Einstein's general theory of relativity may be regarded as a successor of the classical ether. (shrink)
This essay is concerned with piecemeal knowledge-formation and with the formation of syntheses of knowledge such as theories in physics. A formalism will be presented and employed. Basic notions in this formalism are those of information overlap and degree of truth.
Summary Research is regarded as transformations of complexes composed of knowledge, problems and (hardware and software) instruments. Sequences of such transformations are embedded in human settings in which they are given directions. Problems and the work of solving them are divided into empirical and theoretical ones. In an advanced science like physics empirical and theoretical work are interrelated by means of flows of problem-generating information. Empirical and theoretical researchers work also on problems of their own making. Residuals of knowledge which (...) cannot be systematized at the same rate as it is produced as well as clashes between new and old knowledge are potential starting points of new lines of research. (shrink)
We argue that the transmission of "normal science" is not enough to secure high-quality research, especially in the underdeveloped parts of the world. We survey some of the problems raised by the role of science in development. A simple model for "research-practice complexes" is presented. It is suggested that research-practice complexes ought to fulfil the three basic criteria of efficiency, perceptiveness, and sensitivity. The role of joint paradigm discussions in research-practice complexes is particularly emphasized.
Summary The theory of research under development at this Institute aims at systematically describing and evaluating research and its products. It conceives research as an innovative sytem in which knowledge, problems and instruments are produced and processed. It proceeds by tacking between case studies of research enterprises (past or on-going) and constructing models over such features as data generation, hypothesis checking, systematization of pieces of knowledge, etc. Its auxiliaries are systems-theory, information theory, etc. It results should make possible a critical (...) examination of the factors that steer research processes â such as the perspective, criteria, ideals of science. A criticism informed by the results of this type of theory of research ought to be of value both for active researchers and for others concerned with research. (shrink)
The Lorentz-formulae are deduced from three factual statements the physical meaning of which is explained in terms of operations with clocks, light-signals and measuring rods. These statements are: (1) The time-length of a process is invariant. (2) The velocity of light is the same in all inertial systems. (3) The velocity of light is independent of the source. It is also shown that these statements can be deduced from the Lorentz-formulae. They are the physical content of the latter. The principle (...) of relativity and the light-principle together, however, contain more physical meaning than the Lorentz-formulae. Operational definitions are given for all relevant concepts. (shrink)