Volume 17, Issue 2, Mayo 2002
Fisica y Experimentacion
In this paper I examine the roles that experiment plays in science. Experiment can test theories, but it can also call for a new theory. Experiment can also provide hints about the mathematical form of a theory. Likewise it can provide evidence for the existence of the entities involved in our theories. Finally, it may also have a life of its own, independent of theory. I will illustrate these roles using episodes from the history of contemporary physics. I will also discuss an epistemology of experiment, a set of strategies that provides grounds for reasonable belief in experimental results.