Hunting the Higgs with Computers: A Causal and a Logical Analysis

Beisbart, Claus (11 July 2018). Hunting the Higgs with Computers: A Causal and a Logical Analysis (Unpublished). In: Colloquium in Philosophy, Logic and Philosophy of Science. München. 11. Juli 2018.

In many areas of research, the practice of experimentation has been pervaded by computer simulations. For instance, the recent discovery of the Higgs particle is to some part based upon simulations. As Morrison (2015, Ch. 6) puts it, “the mass measurement associated with the discovery is logically and causally dependent on simulation.” The aim of this paper is to understand the use of computer simulations in experiments. I first critically engage with a recent paper Massimi and Bhimji (2015). They use the example of the Higgs discovery to argue that some simulations qualify as experiments themselves. I reject their crucial argument that experiment and simulation do not relevantly differ in the way in which a researcher causally interacts with her object of study. As an alternative, I propose to say that the simulations in the Higgs discovery represent crucial parts of the experiment. I combine this view with a causal account of the experiment and with a logical analysis of the related causal inference to illuminate the causal and logical dependence of the discovery on the simulations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy > Theoretical Philosophy

UniBE Contributor:

Beisbart, Claus

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 120 Epistemology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Claus Beisbart

Date Deposited:

28 May 2019 16:57

Last Modified:

28 May 2019 16:57

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/129691

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