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Classifying Exploratory Experimentation – Three Case Studies of Exploratory Experimentation at the LHC

Mättig, Peter (2022) Classifying Exploratory Experimentation – Three Case Studies of Exploratory Experimentation at the LHC. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Along three measurements at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a high energy particle accelerator, we analyze procedures and consequences of exploratory experimentation (EE). While all of these cases fulfill the requirements of EE: probing new parameter spaces, being void of a target theory and applying a broad range of experimental methods, we identify epis- temic differences and suggest a classification of EE. We distinguish classes of EE according to their respective goals: the exploration where an established global theory cannot provide the details of a local phenomenon, exploration of an astonishing discovery and exploration to find a new entity. We find that these classes also differ with respect to the existence of an identifiable target and their impact on the background theory. The characteristics distin- guish EE from other kinds of experimentation, even though these different kinds have not yet been systematically studied. The formal rigor and precision of LHC physics facilitates to analyze concept formation in its early state. In particular we emphasize the importance for nil–results for conceptualization and argue that conceptualization can also be achieved from nil–results only.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Mättig, Peterpeter.mattig@cern.ch0000-0002-3928-590X
Keywords: Exploratory Experimentation; Classification of experiments; Particle Physics; Conceptualization; Effective Field Theories
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Peter Maettig
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 13:05
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 13:05
Item ID: 21306
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: 25 October 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21306

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