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On Some Epistemological Aspects of the Discovery of the Higgs Boson

Mar 14, 2014, 3:30pm-5:30pm

Office of the Master, Vanier College, and the Department of Philosophy are proud to present: Professor Slobodan Perovic from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade and the University of Pittsburgh.

Several physicists, including Steven Weinberg, have recently suggested that the inescapable logic of discovery in particle physics necessitates the actual structure of both the Large Hadron Collider (that recently produced Higgs boson) and similar experiments, including their size and cost. Yet the nature of both physical constraints in high-energy physics (HEP) experimentation and technological obstacles stemming from them turns out to be surprisingly open-ended. And substantially different epistemological ramifications and methodological advantages and disadvantages characterize two distinct and competing experimental approaches (the "evolving-apparatus" and the diversifying approach) that have grappled with these physical constraints and technological obstacles. Tackling the challenges of fundamental physics with a particular kind of large centralized experiment such as the LHC may not be a result of physical necessities inherent to the logic of discovery in HEP but rather a result of political circumstances that have favoured one of two competing experimental approaches.

Slobodan Perovic received his PhD in philosophy at York University. He is an assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade and is currently a visiting professor at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. The main area of his research is history and philosophy of physics. He focuses on epistemological ramifications of the early debate over the foundations of quantum mechanics as well as, more recently, on methodological and epistemic ramifications of high-energy physics.


Location:Senior Common Room, 010 Vanier College
Sponsor:Office of Master, Vanier College
Posted by:Vanier College
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