THIS STUDY GROUP IS CANCELED
In 1962, physicist turned historian/philosopher of science, Thomas Kuhn, published his groundbreaking book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago, 2012). Kuhn proposed that scientific fields progressed not through a slow, incremental accretion of knowledge but rather through periodic “paradigm shifts.” These often discontinuous shifts open up new and fundamentally different ways of looking at the world. Kuhn further discusses how science is a human activity and that at any given moment scientific truth is a complex mix of “objective” criteria and the consensus of a scientific community. Our group will study Kuhn’s arguments and evidence for his revolutionary look at how
science progresses. We will then “test” his theories against the real life experience of the scientists who first discovered and then
grappled with the “truth” of quantum physics, itself part of a revolutionary transition from classical physics to the new understandings pioneered by Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, and others. Our text, Adam Becker’s What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics (Basic Books, 2018), recounts the often choppy history of the Copenhagen Interpretation, the personalities and groups involved, and the social forces pushing for or impeding change. Join us!