Brownian movement and molecular reality pdf
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The story told has some rather interesting repercussions for the rationality of accepting the reality of explanatory posits. This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution. Rent this article via DeepDyve. The interested reader should look at the following: Post , Nye , Gardner , Krips , Nyhof , and de Regt Part of the reasons that Mach developed an enmity to atoms was that he took them to be Kantian things-in-themselves.
It would be unfair to Stallo to claim—as I have not—that all of his criticism of the atomic conception of matter was philosophically-driven. He also started as an anti-atomist in the s and insisted, in rivalry with Boltzmann, on the usefulness of a continuous conception of matter. He advocated thermodynamics as distinct from atomism. It was his ground-breaking work on the black-body radiation and the quantization of energy that made him more favourable towards the atomic conception of matter, as he had to rely on an atomistic-statistical model for the explanation of the black-body radiation cf.
Krips The final theoretical proof of the correctness of this explanation was first given quite recently, when Einstein and Smoluchowski, obtained statistical laws governing the distribution of density, the velocities, the mean free paths, and even the rotations of the microscopic particles, and these laws were most strikingly confirmed quantitatively in all details, particularly through the experimental work of Jean Perrin.
There can be no doubt now, in the mind of the physicist who has associated himself with inductive methods, that matter is constituted of atoms … , The classic and still unparalleled biography of Perrin is by Nye Perrin did stress, already in , that the molecules of gases are composed of atoms and that the atoms have internal structure.
But from the point of view of the kinetic theory of gases—and the fundamental claim that matter was discontinuous—the difference between molecules and atoms was not particularly important insofar as they were both treated as particles in constant motion.
It is of significance that, as Perrin , 24, note stresses, the equation of distribution of emulsion was arrived at independently—and by different means—by Einstein and Smoluchowski. What he observed, and they did not, was that Eq. Perrin presents in painstaking detail the various ways in which he manipulated the emulsions that he studied and his various attempts to establish concordances between the values of the properties of the Brownian particles cf. For an illuminating discussion of the use of the ultramicroscope by Perrin, cf.
Bigg Based on the existence of a dynamic equilibrium between osmotic forces and viscous forces, he was able to derive the coefficient of diffusion of the suspended Brownian particles as a function of the coefficient of viscosity of the liquid and the size of the suspended particles. But Einstein relied on an important statistical assumption, viz.
A version of this point is made by de Broglie , The whole issue is subtle, of course. But I think scientific realists have unnecessarily conceded the point—if they in fact have—that either prior probabilities should be fixed in a fully objective and logical manner God-given? Prior probabilities can be whimsical, but they need not be. They can be based on judgements of plausibility, on explanatory considerations prior to the collection of fresh evidence and other such factors, which—though not algorithmic—are quite objective in that their employment does and should command rational agreement.
I cannot discuss them here in any detail. But I will present a very brief and sketchy summary of them and hint to their major shortcomings. My translation from p. The rendering of this passage in the English translation of the book , is mistaken. There are a number of philosophical issues related to individuation, identity and countability of microscopic entities that are relevant to the arguments examined in this paper, whose discussion has to wait for a different occasion.
However, the following should be stressed. Achinstein, P. The book of evidence. New York: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar. Bachtold, M. Journal for the General Philosophy of Science, 41 , 1— Bigg, C. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 39 , — Boltzmann, L. The recent development of method in theoretical physics. The Monist, 11 , — On the necessity of atomic theories in physics. The Monist, 12 , 65— The relations of applied mathematics.
Rogers Ed. Le hasard. Brush, S. A history of random processes. Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 51 , 1— Mach and atomism.
Synthese, 18 , — Cartwright, N. How the laws of physics lie. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Paris: Gauthier-Villars. Philosophy and the kinetic theory of gases. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 47 , 31— Duhem, P. Foundations of Chemistry 2 , — The aim and structure of physical theory. Wiener, Trans. Ariew In Pierre Duhem: Essays in the history and philosophy of science pp. Indianapolis: Hackett Einstein, A. On the movement of small particles suspended in a stationary liquid demanded by the molecular-kinetic theory of heat.
Furth Ed. New York: Dover Publications French, S. Identity in physics: A historical, philosophical and formal analysis. Oxford: Oxford University press. Gardner, M.
Realism and instrumentalism in the 19th-centrury atomism. Philosophy of Science, 46 , 1— Krips, H. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 17 , 43— Lalande, A. Philosophy in France in The Philosophical Review, 22 , — Mach, E. The science of mechanics. McCormack, Trans. La Salle: Open Court.
Mayo, D. Cartwright, causality, and coincidence. PSA, 1 , 42— Miller, R. Fact and method. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Nye, M. Molecular reality: A perspective on the scientific work of Jean Perrin.
London: MacDonald. The nineteenth-century atomic debates and the dilemma of an indifferent hypothesis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 7 , — Nyhof, J. Philosophical objections to the kinetic theory. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 39 , 89—
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Brownian Movement and Molecular Reality PDF. Download PDF. This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the.
Brownian movement and molecular reality
This pattern of motion typically consists of random fluctuations in a particle's position inside a fluid sub-domain, followed by a relocation to another sub-domain. Each relocation is followed by more fluctuations within the new closed volume. This pattern describes a fluid at thermal equilibrium , defined by a given temperature.
Don't have an account? Jean Perrin's argument for the existence of molecules on the basis of his experiments with Brownian motion is examined. It is also argued, against antirealist interpretations of Perrin, that Perrin himself was applying a realist argument to the existence of unobservable molecules rather than an instrumentalist one to the truth of the observational consequences of the molecular theory. Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
They did succeed in determining mean kinetic energies of particles in Brownian motion, but the values for molecular magnitudes Perrin inferred from them simply presupposed that those energies match the mean kinetic energies of molecules in the surrounding fluid.
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Compendium of Quantum Physics pp Cite as.