Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte falkenburgtudortmund

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Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. falkenburg@tu-dortmund. de 1. Introduction 2. The Phenomena

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. [email protected] de 1. Introduction 2. The Phenomena of Physics 3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena 4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics 5. Conclusions 1

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. falkenburg@tu-dortmund. de 1. Introduction 2

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. [email protected] de 1. Introduction 2

1. Introduction Underdetermination: An Empiricist Story � Phenomena Empirical Structures �Same empirical structure many

1. Introduction Underdetermination: An Empiricist Story � Phenomena Empirical Structures �Same empirical structure many theories � Few examples from “real physics” Classical Mechanics: �With/without Absolute Space? (van Fraassen’s example) �Continuous particle trajectories (given up in QM) Quantum Mechanics (probabilistic view of ): �Bohm’s QM (hidden variables & particle trajectories) �Many Worlds (splitting wave functions ) 3

1. Introduction But, what are the Phenomena? � philosophical tradition (phenomena noumena): �phenomena =

1. Introduction But, what are the Phenomena? � philosophical tradition (phenomena noumena): �phenomena = appearances (Leibniz, Kant) �phenomenology = logic of what seems to be (Lambert) � tradition of physics (“saving the phenomena”): �motions of celestial bodies (Ptolemy – Kepler - Newton) �law-like, non-miraculous appearances (Hacking) �events predicted by a theory & explananda of theories (Bogen & Woodward; most physicists) no unambiguous meaning of “phenomenon” 4

1. Introduction Tradition of Physics: � motions of celestial bodies: �description of apparent motions?

1. Introduction Tradition of Physics: � motions of celestial bodies: �description of apparent motions? (Ptolemy) �explanation of true motions? (Kepler & Newton) � observation of the appearances: �by sensory experience only? (Aristotle & empiricism) �by technological devices? (Galileo & scientific realism) � events predicted by a theory: �sense data only? (Mach, Carnap, van Fraassen) �physical effects? (physicists & principle of causality) “phenomena” debated since Galileo! 5

1. Introduction Phenomena of Physics = Theory-Laden � theory phenomena: fuzzy distinction �Phenomena of

1. Introduction Phenomena of Physics = Theory-Laden � theory phenomena: fuzzy distinction �Phenomena of physics have always been theory-laden �To talk of “empirical substructure” is naïve! �Example: Particle tracks of subatomic physics phenomenon of CM = full-fledged trajectory of QM = sequence of measurement points Hence: The Phenomena of Science are Underdetermined, too! 6

1. Introduction Phenomena of Physics: Underdetermined � No Problem - Only for Empiricists! “Myth

1. Introduction Phenomena of Physics: Underdetermined � No Problem - Only for Empiricists! “Myth of the Given” � Underdetermination of Phenomena: �Not strong, but weak = transient �Demarcation theory/phenomena: time-dependent �Evidence depends on well-established knowledge! Goal of Physics: To Determine the Phenomena in terms of Laws of Nature! 7

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. falkenburg@tu-dortmund. de 2. The Phenomena of Physics

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. [email protected] de 2. The Phenomena of Physics 8

2. The Phenomena of Physics Two prominent examples: � Newton’s “Phenomena” ? �Principia: motions

2. The Phenomena of Physics Two prominent examples: � Newton’s “Phenomena” ? �Principia: motions of celestial bodies �Opticks: observations in experiments � Bohr‘s “quantum phenomena” �Claim: there are no quantum objects �Quantum Phenomena are “individual” (=indivisible) �They correspond to classical pictures of physical reality Current physics/science: phenomena “evidence” 9

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton’s “phenomena” ? � ambiguous concept: � “Principia” :

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton’s “phenomena” ? � ambiguous concept: � “Principia” : motions of celestial bodies �planetary motions described by Kepler’s laws �phenomenological laws � Optics: observations in experiments �light propagation �light colors �light diffraction but common features: �regularity, predictability, law-likeness �phenomena are typical & connected 10

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton’s Phenomena: Two examples 1. Connection of the Phenomena:

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton’s Phenomena: Two examples 1. Connection of the Phenomena: from Galileo‘s to Kepler‘s motions 2. Analysis & Synthesis of Phenomena: spectral decomposition & re-composition of light Principia: connection between Galileo‘s and Kepler‘s motions Opticks: spectral decomposition & re-composition of light 11

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton’s Phenomena: � phenomena = what is given �at

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton’s Phenomena: � phenomena = what is given �at any stage of research : appearances, phenomenological laws, experimental results, measurement outcomes � phenomena = subject to causal analysis � phenomena = connected by laws �mathematical analysis forces & universal laws �experimental analysis atoms of matter & light �trust in law-likeness & unity of nature “Nature will be very conformable to herself and very simple. ” (Newton 1704) 12

2. The Phenomena of Physics Niels Bohr (Nobel lecture, 1922): Phenomena are: • explananda

2. The Phenomena of Physics Niels Bohr (Nobel lecture, 1922): Phenomena are: • explananda of theories • observations Explanation is: • classification in terms of analogies “By a theoretical explanation of natural phenomena we understand in general a classification of the observations of a certain domain with the help of analogies pertaining to other domains [. . . ], where one has presumably to do with simpler phenomena. ” scientific realism of phenomena & weakened account of explanation! 13

2. The Phenomena of Physics Niels Bohr (Como lecture, 1927): There are no quantum

2. The Phenomena of Physics Niels Bohr (Como lecture, 1927): There are no quantum objects, only quantum phenomena Physical objects are: • defined in terms of spatio-temporal & causal properties • these properties can be observed simultaneously For quantum “objects” : definition observation Quantum phenomena are: • individual (=indivisible) • complementary (=mutually exclusive) • in correspondence to classical models of wave or particle 14

2. The Phenomena of Physics Bohr’s Quantum Phenomena: Wave-Particle Duality 1. Particle Tracks: Proton

2. The Phenomena of Physics Bohr’s Quantum Phenomena: Wave-Particle Duality 1. Particle Tracks: Proton tracks in nuclear emulsions 2. Wave interference: Diffraction of (a) electrons & (b) photons at a crystal 15

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton & Bohr: Phenomena are � concrete, intuitive facts

2. The Phenomena of Physics Newton & Bohr: Phenomena are � concrete, intuitive facts of Nature spatio-temporally individuated objects &events � empirical, observable, given by some kind of observation or measurement � typical, class constructs, connected by laws explainable in terms of laws & causal stories Phenomena can be found at many levels of observation & measurement! 16

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. falkenburg@tu-dortmund. de 3. How to Determine Particle

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. [email protected] de 3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena 17

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena of Particle Physics: � Quantum Phenomena Particle Picture

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena of Particle Physics: � Quantum Phenomena Particle Picture � empirical, observable, given Particle Tracks � typical, class constructs, connected by laws Causal Analysis of Particle Tracks Classified in terms of mass, charge, spin, . . . many kinds of particles How are they identified? 18

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena The Track of the Positron (Anderson 1932): Electron

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena The Track of the Positron (Anderson 1932): Electron mass, but opposite charge? Experimental device: 1. Bubble chamber: tracks from cosmic rays 2. Magnetic field: curvature of charged particle 3. Lead plate as stopping device: direction of particle Without the lead plate, the phenomenon remained underdetermined! 19

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1940 s: Puzzle of

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1940 s: Puzzle of “mesons” - Problem: 1. Particle tracks in bubble chamber melectron < mass < mproton 2. No trust in QED no safe calculation of energy loss no mass measurement from particle range p Later particle accelerator measurement of energy loss d. E/dx e- 3. No particle identification possible vague concept of “mesons” Without safe measurement method, method the phenomenon remained underdetermined! 20

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1940 s: Puzzle of

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1940 s: Puzzle of “mesons” Resolution: 1. Development of nuclear emulsions better resolution of measurement points 2. mass estimation from density of points QED-independent mass measurement 2. Particle identification possible distinction of - and independent test of QED Without safe measurement method, method the phenomenon remained underdetermined! 21

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1930 s-1960 s: Many

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1930 s-1960 s: Many Puzzles! Problems: 1. Many kinds of particle tracks classified in terms of mass & charge 2. Many kinds of particle reactions classified in terms of conserved quantities 3. Many kinds of particle resonances classified in terms of unstable particles wide range of phenomena at different levels of observation & measurement! How are they established? Independent measurement methods 22

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1930 s-1960 s: Particle

3. How to Determine Particle Phenomena Particle Identification in the 1930 s-1960 s: Particle phenomena are identified in terms of particle types (mass, charge, spin, parity, …) if independent measurement methods available Identification of the Particle Phenomena aims at their Theoretical Explanation! stage 1: classif. in terms of particle types stage 2: classif. in terms of symmetries stage 3: quantum dynamics 23

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. falkenburg@tu-dortmund. de 4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. [email protected] de 4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics 24

4. Underdetermination in APP Phenomena of APP: Cosmic Rays (CRs) • Discovered in 1912

4. Underdetermination in APP Phenomena of APP: Cosmic Rays (CRs) • Discovered in 1912 (Viktor Hess, Vienna) (Institut für Radiumforschung) • Extraterrestrial Origin • „primary“ & „secondary“ CRs • scattering in the atmosphere 25

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena of APP: Cosmic Rays (CRs) Primary CRs: Satellites

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena of APP: Cosmic Rays (CRs) Primary CRs: Satellites & Space telescopes Secondary CRs: Earthbound experiments neutrino muon detected: Cherenkov light high-energy photon e+edetected: Cherenkov light MAGIC Cherenkov neutrino&gamma ray telescopes ICECUBE 26

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena of APP: Cosmic Rays (CRs) • Power law

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena of APP: Cosmic Rays (CRs) • Power law decrease • two „kinks“: „knee“ & „ankle“ Today, the CR phenomena are known! But, what is their explanation? Goal: Model determination! 27

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena of APP All Particle Spectrum particle content of

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena of APP All Particle Spectrum particle content of primary CRs: charged particles: 90 % protons 9 % -particles 1 % electrons (uncharged particles: photons & neutrinos) 28

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles CRs carry Information from

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles CRs carry Information from Cosmic Sources Where do they come from? What did happen to them? 29

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Information = signal transmisson

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Information = signal transmisson from emitter to receiver to read it out, you must know 2 of: cosmic source • nature of signal • interactions during transfer • Explanatory Model Determined? 30

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Information = particle propagation

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Information = particle propagation from source to detector reading it out, you will learn about 1 of: cosmic source • messenger particles • interactions during propagation • Explanatory Model Determined? 31

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Only uncharged particles point

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Only uncharged particles point to their source! They allow „direct observation“ of source, (if !) no interactions during transfer (D. Shapere 1982) 32

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Photon & neutrino telescopes

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles Photon & neutrino telescopes observe extragalactic sources, like Galileo observed Jupiter moons Proton detection does not! 33

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles But, be cautious! Shapere‘s

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Concepts of APP Messenger particles But, be cautious! Shapere‘s example: Observation of sun with solar Solar neutrino experiments neutrino oszillations neutrinos (information about messenger particles, not source!) Observation of cosmic sources depends on knowledge of messenger particles & their interactions ! „theory-ladenness“ underdetermination! 34

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Explanations Extragalactic sources Sources & their activities astrophysical data:

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Explanations Extragalactic sources Sources & their activities astrophysical data: luminosity & spectra & temporal evolution of AGNs, GRBs, SNRs 35

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Explanations Extragalactic sources But, what goes on in between?

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Explanations Extragalactic sources But, what goes on in between? astrophysical data: Dark matter & gravitational lensing & other effects How reliable are the models? 36

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena & Concepts & Models of APP: Cosmic Ray

4. Underdetermination in Astroparticle Physics Phenomena & Concepts & Models of APP: Cosmic Ray phenomena and identified in terms of messenger particles interpreted in terms of extragalactic sources are Goal of APP: Investigation of Cosmic Rays in order to Identify their Sources! stage 1: measurement of messenger particles stage 2: identification of cosmic origin stage 3: dynamics of source 37

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. falkenburg@tu-dortmund. de 5. Conclusions 38

Underdetermination and the Phenomena of Physics brigitte. [email protected] de 5. Conclusions 38

5. Conclusions 1. Goal of Physics: To Determine the Phenomena in terms of Laws

5. Conclusions 1. Goal of Physics: To Determine the Phenomena in terms of Laws of Nature 2. Concrete & stable Phenomena can be found at Many Levels of Observation & Measurement 3. To Identify the Particle Phenomena aims at their Theoretical Explanation. 4. To Investigate Cosmic Rays now aims at Identifying Galactic & Extragalactic Sources. Typical for physics: Transient Underdetermination of Phenomena & Explanatory Models 39

5. Conclusions 1. Goal of Physics: To Determine the Phenomena in terms of Laws

5. Conclusions 1. Goal of Physics: To Determine the Phenomena in terms of Laws of Nature 2. Concrete & stable Phenomena can be found at Many Levels of Observation & Measurement 3. To Identify the Particle Phenomena aims at their Theoretical Explanation. 4. To Investigate Cosmic Rays now aims at Identifying Galactic & Extragalactic Sources. So: All the Worse for Scientific Realism? No: Physicists are struggling very hard for independent measurement methods. 40

Literature Brigitte Falkenburg: - Particle Metaphysics. A Critical Account of Subatomic Reality. Springer 2007.

Literature Brigitte Falkenburg: - Particle Metaphysics. A Critical Account of Subatomic Reality. Springer 2007. - What are the Phenomena of Physics? In: Synthese (forthcoming) - Incommensurability and Measurement. In: Theoria, Vol. 12 Numero 30 (1997), 467 -491. 41