Vickers, P. (2012) 'Historical magic in old quantum theory ?', European journal for philosophy of science., 2 (1). pp. 1-19.
Two successes of old quantum theory are particularly notable: Bohr’s prediction of the spectral lines of ionised helium, and Sommerfeld’s prediction of the fine-structure of the hydrogen spectral lines. Many scientific realists would like to be able to explain these successes in terms of the truth or approximate truth of the assumptions which fuelled the relevant derivations. In this paper I argue that this will be difficult for the ionised helium success, and is almost certainly impossible for the fine-structure success. Thus I submit that the case against the realist’s thesis that success is indicative of truth is marginally strengthened.
|Full text:||(AM) Accepted Manuscript|
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|Publisher Web site:||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13194-010-0010-6|
|Publisher statement:||The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com|
|Date accepted:||No date available|
|Date deposited:||12 February 2013|
|Date of first online publication:||January 2012|
|Date first made open access:||No date available|
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