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Representing Electrons

Librairie Eyrolles - Paris 5e

Representing Electrons

Representing Electrons

A Biographical Approach to Theoretical Entities

- Collection Science

296 pages, parution le 16/12/2005


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 touchstone for historians and philosophers of science and scientists alike.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Methodological Preliminaries
  • Why Write Biographies of Theoretical Entities?
  • Rethinking "The Discovery of the Electron"
  • The Birth and Infancy of the Representation of the Electron
  • The Genesis of the Quantum Electron
  • Between Relativity and Correspondence
  • "How the Electrons Spend Their Leisure Time": The Chemists' Perspective
  • Forced to Spin by Uhlenbeck and Goudsmit
  • Identifying the Electron: Meaning Variance and the Historicity of Scientific Realism
  • References
  • Index
Voir tout

Caractéristiques techniques du livre "Representing Electrons"

Éditeur(s) The University of Chicago Press
Auteur(s) Theodore Arabatzis
Collection Science
Parution 16/12/2005
Nb. de pages 296
Format 15 x 23
Couverture Broché
Poids 428g
Intérieur Noir et Blanc
EAN13 9780226024219
ISBN13 978-0-226-02421-9


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