Wayne Myrvold: Einstein and the Atom
28 October 2015, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
Einstein’s name is widely associated with the “atom bomb,” via the formula E = MC2. Less widely known is that he played a key role in providing evidence that atoms exist at all. One of Einstein’s early papers was an analysis of Brownian motion, the ceaseless dance of tiny particles, such as pollen grains, suspended in a fluid. The dance of pollen grains, Einstein realized, was evidence that they are being buffeted by smaller particles, beyond microscopic resolution. This talk will be about the ingenuity required to turn the visible into evidence about the invisible.
Wayne Myrvold is a philosopher of science, whose work is chiefly concerned with the philosophy of physics, and, in particular with the interpretation of quantum mechanics. He has interest in confirmation theory (or perhaps, better, in the relation between theory and evidence), and has done work on this in a Bayesian context. He has a long-standing interest in the philosophy of biology which has yet to result in any published contributions to that field.
He has been a member of the Philosophy Department at Western since 1997. In AY 2004-2005, he spent half of a sabbatical year at the University of Oxford, and in AY 08-09 spent a full year there as a visiting Departmental Lecturer in the Philosophy of Physics. In the Winter Term of 2011 he was visiting faculty in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He is an Affiliate Member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is a member of the Time and Universe research cluster. He is also Subject Editor for Quantum Mechanics for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and is on the Editorial Board for Philosophy of Science
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