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EmergenceContemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science$
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Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026215

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.001.0001

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Newtonianism, Reductionism and the Art of Congressional Testimony

Newtonianism, Reductionism and the Art of Congressional Testimony

(p.345) 18 Newtonianism, Reductionism and the Art of Congressional Testimony

Stephen Weinberg

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the philosophy of science as distinguished from a discussion about science itself. It attempts to show how the construction of a large new accelerator for elementary particle physics, the Superconducting Supercollider, or SSC in the United States affects the direction of physics research as well as the philosophy of science in general. This accelerator opens up a new realm of high energy, the study of which is only made possible by the accelerator. A similar accelerator was built in Berkeley over 30 years ago, the Bevatron, which for the first time was capable of producing particles with masses of 1 GeV. The discovery of new physics is generally the main reason why these accelerators are built, but one can also point out specific discoveries that can be anticipated from a new accelerator as another reason.

Keywords:   philosophy of science, elementary particle physics, Superconducting Supercollider, SSC, high energy, Bevatron

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