Brown--Paper #3 - Daniel Zauderer Philosophy of Science...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Daniel Zauderer Philosophy of Science Paper #3 The current model in physics that, according to the New York Times article “How did the universe survive the big bang? In this experiment, clues remain illusive,” “encapsulates physicists’ current knowledge on fundamental particles and forces,” is the “three-flavor” model, or Standard Model. The model’s name refers to the three flavors of neutrinos (tiny, but incredibly abundant particles with no electrical charge and hardly any mass): muon, electron, and tau. The article’s focus is a recent experiment coined “MiniBooNE.” MiiniBooNE’s goal is to confirm or refute the controversial findings of a 1990s Los Alamos experiment. That experiment challenged the three flavor model, suggesting four or more flavors of neutrinos. Neutrinos are of extreme importance in physics, as many physicists believe that a study on their nature could lead to important conclusions about the early stages of our universe, such as an answer to why the universe didn’t destroy itself after the big bang, a question that the otherwise effective and accurate Standard Model has been unable to answer. Unfortunately, MiniBooNE’s results were inconclusive and have puzzled physicists. A discussion of some central themes in the Philosophy of Science and their relation to MiniBooNE will help to illuminate the important issues surrounding the experiment. The themes that will be explained in this essay are theory, empirical adequacy, testing through experimentation, underdetermination, auxiliary theory, confirmation, and falsification. According to Peter Kosso, the author of “Reading the Book of Nature” and a prominent philosopher of science, a “theory” is that which explains the unobservable.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
And the goal of science is to determine the unobservable causes responsible for observable phenomenon; in other words, science without theory is no longer science. Although a theory explains the unobservable, it must, if it is to be regarded as a theory even worth consideration, in some way link up with the observable world. A theory must have “empirical adequacy”; it must be compatible with observed findings. For if a theory has no empirical adequacy—if it doesn’t “save the phenomenon”—there is no way to determine it’s relation to the world. Theories, in order to relate to the observable world—the “manifest world”—must predict observations. Of course, in order to determine if a theory’s predictions on observations are successful, one must actually observe what a theory predicts. A scientist must experiment! He must at some point stop his theoretical musings and check to see if his theory predicts what it says it should. He must go out in the world and dirty himself; he
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 6

Brown--Paper #3 - Daniel Zauderer Philosophy of Science...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online