PhilSci Archive

Expanding theory testing in general relativity: LIGO and parametrized theories

Patton, Lydia (2020) Expanding theory testing in general relativity: LIGO and parametrized theories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. ISSN 1355-2198

[img]
Preview
Text
1-s2.0-S1355219818302089-main.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (407kB) | Preview

Abstract

The multiple detections of gravitational waves by LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), operated by Caltech and MIT, have been acclaimed as confirming Einstein's prediction, a century ago, that gravitational waves propagating as ripples in spacetime would be detected. Yunes and Pretorius (2009) investigate whether LIGO's template-based searches encode fundamental assumptions, especially the assumption that the background theory of general relativity is an accurate description of the phenomena detected in the search. They construct the parametrized post-Einsteinian (ppE) framework in response, which broadens those assumptions and allows for wider testing under more flexible assumptions. Their methods are consistent with work on confirmation and testing found in Carnap (1936), Hempel (1969), and Stein (1992, 1994), with the following principles in common: that confirmation is distinct from testing, and that, counterintuitively, revising a theory's formal basis can make it more broadly empirically testable. These views encourage a method according to which theories can be made abstract, to define families of general structures for the purpose of testing. With the development of the ppE framework and related approaches, multi-messenger astronomy is a catalyst for deep reasoning about the limits and potential of the theoretical framework of general relativity.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Patton, Lydiacritique@vt.edu0000-0003-2751-1196
Keywords: relativity, general relativity, testing, experiment, simulation
Subjects: General Issues > Computer Simulation
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dr Lydia Patton
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 15:16
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 15:16
Item ID: 16902
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2020.01.001
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2020.01.001
Subjects: General Issues > Computer Simulation
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2020
ISSN: 1355-2198
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16902

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item