18/03/2021 – Martin King: Particle Physics at the Crossroads

Abstract:

The lack of new physics discoveries at the LHC has had a dramatic effect on the efforts of the particle physics community. As the predictions of model-based searches have failed, physicists have increasingly turned to model-independent approaches. This marks a strong shift in scientific methodology that may be here to stay. In this talk, I will review some of the major views on methodology from the history and philosophy of science from Newton to Popper. I then characterise model independence, and the Standard Model Effective Field Theory in particular, as a move away from classic hypothesis testing. I finish by reviewing some of potential worries about the future of particle physics at these new crossroads.

Biographical information:

Martin L. King a philosopher of physics current researching and teaching as a postdoc at the University of Bonn, in Germany, as part of the DFG-funded research group ​The Epistemology of the LHC.

In September 2016, he joined the Model Building and Dynamics group at the University of Wuppertal and have been carrying on that research at the University of Bonn, since June 2017. He completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of Guelph in June 2016. The thesis is entitled Scientific Explanation: Towards a Neo-Deductivist Account.

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