Seminar on History and Philosophy of Science

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
A Paradigm Shift in Slow Motion: On the History of Gravitational Waves
Alexander Blum, Research Scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science; Visiting Associate in History of Science, Caltech,

Abstract: It famously took 100 years from Einstein's prediction of the existence of gravitational radiation to last year's discovery. In this talk, I will address the question why half of that time was spent discussing the questions whether Einstein's early prediction was actually legitimate. I argue that it took that long for General Relativity to mature into a theory that was able to provide the basis for a trustworthy prediction, which leads me to some more general reflections on time needed for true theory change.

This talk was originally scheduled for October 3, 2017.

For more information, please contact Fran Tise by phone at 626-395-3609 or by email at ftise@caltech.edu.