Representing Electrons: A Biographical Approach to Theoretical Entities (Hardback)Theodore Arabatzis (author)
Hardback 296 Pages
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Representing Electrons: A Biographical Approach to Theoretical Entities (Hardback)
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Both a history and a metahistory, "Representing Electrons" focuses on the development of various theoretical representations of electrons from the late 1890s to 1925 and the methodological problems associated with writing about unobservable scientific entities. Using the electron - or rather its representation - as a historical actor, Theodore Arabatzis illustrates the emergence and gradual consolidation of its representation in physics, its career throughout old quantum theory, and its appropriation and reinterpretation by chemists. As Arabatzis develops this novel biographical approach, he portrays scientific representations as partly autonomous agents with lives of their own. Furthermore, he argues that the considerable variance in the representation of the electron does not undermine its stable identity or existence. Raising philosophical issues of contentious debate in the history and philosophy of science - namely, scientific realism and meaning change - Arabatzis addresses the history of the electron across disciplines, integrating historical narrative with philosophical analysis in a book that will be a touch-stone for historians and philosophers of science and scientists alike.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 539 g
Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 mm
"Representing Electrons makes an important contribution not only to the historical literature on the history of physics but also to the philosophical literature on realism and theory/meaning change. This is a nice example of how to do history and philosophy of science in practice." - Margaret Morrison, University of Toronto"
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