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How to Make Reflectance a Surface Property

Danne, Nicholas (2020) How to Make Reflectance a Surface Property. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 70. pp. 19-27. ISSN 1355-2198

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Abstract

Reflectance physicalists define reflectance as the intrinsic disposition of a surface to reflect finite-duration light pulses at a particular efficiency per wavelength. I criticize the received view of dispositional reflectance (David R. Hilbert’s) as conceptually regressive, since it fails to account for the empirical law that I call “harmonic dispersion,” the inverse relationship of a pulse's duration to its bandwidth. To render reflectance intrinsic, I redefine it as the per-wavelength efficiency of a surface to reflect the infinite-duration, monochromatic, Fourier harmonics that superimpose into finite-duration pulses by the Fourier Transform. This conclusion raises questions about mathematical realism, about which I nevertheless remain neutral.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Danne, Nicholasdann0027@umn.edu0000-0002-5893-9358
Keywords: Reflectance physicalism; mathematical realism; Fourier analysis; intrinsic disposition
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Dr. Nicholas Danne
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 03:33
Last Modified: 14 May 2021 03:33
Item ID: 19035
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2020.01.002
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Applicability
Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: 2020
Page Range: pp. 19-27
Volume: 70
ISSN: 1355-2198
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19035

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