The Physics and Philosophy of Kirchhoff’s Theory of Diffraction (on the 130th Anniversary of Kirchhoff’s Paper)
Date: 29th May 2012
Venue: Durham University Institute of Advanced Study - in the Seminar Room, Cosin's Hall, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RL
Organiser: Dr Peter Vickers (Durham, Philosophy)
Scientists have long debated the peculiar nature of Kirchhoff’s theory of diffraction, and in particular how it could be so successful despite being both internally inconsistent, and false in certain very significant respects. Just recently, philosophers of science have introduced this case study to their own community as a potentially serious problem for contemporary scientific realist positions (e.g. see here). In this workshop scientists and philosophers are brought together for the first time to share viewpoints, and debate what lessons can be drawn from Kirchhoff’s theory for our contemporary understanding of how science works.
A full list of papers and abstracts is available at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/evaluating.realism/kirchhoff.htm
Info: Dr Matthew D Eddy
Durham University, Department of Philosophy, 50/51 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HN, United Kingdom