Argonne National Laboratory

Upcoming Events

Experiment, Then and Now

Series 
Physics Division Colloquium
Presenter 
Allan Franklin, University of Colorado
October 19, 2012 11:00AM to 12:00PM
Location 
Building 203
Type 
Colloquium
Abstract:
In this paper I will discuss changes in the presentation of experimental results from the early 20th century to the present and their implications. Issues discussed will include: the use of statistics to justify an observation (the rise of the 5σ rule), the exclusion and selection of data, the presentation of the history of previous measurements, the possibility of experimenter bias, and the inclusion of personal comments. Examples will include Edwin Hall's discussions of "Do Falling Bodies Move South?," and the "discovery" of the Pentaquark.