Massimiliano Badino

Massimiliano Badino
Autonomous University of Barcelona | UAB · Centre for History of Science Studies (CEHIC)

PhD in Philosophy of Science

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33
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Ever since Thomas Kuhn's influential The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), textbooks have suffered a bad reputation. They have been accused of distorting—at times purportedly—history and of feeding students with an unacceptably simplified and optimistic view of science. This attitude started to change only in recent times. With the increa...
Article
Once one of the main protagonists of history of science, the historiography on quantum theory has recently gone through a process of reconfiguration of methods, research questions and epistemological framework. In this paper, I review the recent developments and propose some reflections on its future evolution.
Article
J.L. Heilbron , Physics: A Short History from Quintessence to Quarks. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. 224. ISBN 978-0-19-874685-0. £10.99 (hardback). - Volume 49 Issue 3 - Massimiliano Badino
Chapter
This chapter sets the historiographical framework for the rest of the book. I claim that philosophy and historiography of theories are currently utterly separated and this situation is detrimental to both. The reason of this separation, I argue, is that philosophy of science has maintained an intellectualistic stance toward scientific theories. In...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes the problem of heat radiation in the second half of the nineteenth century. For most physicists, this problem amounted to finding the explicit form of the radiation law. In the first phase, experimental research and general thermodynamical arguments imposed some constraints on the form of this law. One of the great conundrum...
Chapter
In this chapter I explore Planck’s radiation theory from his preliminary studies (1896) through his more mature Pentalogy (1897–1899). Planck viewed the problem of the black-body radiation very differently from Wien and the majority of his contemporaries. In particular, Planck was not primarily interested in deriving a radiation law. Instead, he co...
Chapter
This chapter concludes the analysis of Planck’s theory of radiation, and discusses the fateful leap to the quantum hypothesis. In the Pentalogy, Planck had bounded his theory tight with Wien’s radiation law. Ironically, he wasn’t looking for any proof of the law to begin with. But it was necessary to buttress his definition of entropy in order to c...
Article
This paper deals with the construction of theories. It is argued that the conventional wisdom, according to which theories stem from the progressive enlargement of a central core of assumptions and methods, does not do jus-tice to the complexity of the historical process. It turns out to be more useful to think about theories as a less stable and l...
Article
Full-text available
The endeavor of Otto Sackur (1880-1914) was driven, on the one hand, by his interest in Nernst's heat theorem, statistical mechanics, and the problem of chemical equilibrium and, on the other hand, by his goal to shed light on classical mechanics from the quantum vantage point. Inspired by the interplay between classical physics and quantum theory,...
Article
Full-text available
The endeavor of Otto Sackur (1880-1914) was driven, on the one hand, by his interest in Nernst’s theorem, statistical mechanics, and the problem of chemical equilibrium, and, on the other, his goal to shed light on classical mechanics from the quantum vantage point. Inspired by the interplay between classical physics and quantum theory, Sackur chan...
Article
Planck's four year-long struggle for a satisfactory theory of radiation had apparently come to an end. His effort had produced a formula for the spectrum of the black body that fitted excellently the available data. At the same time, Planck was convinced that one could not do without the quantum discontinuity. He made this point explicit as early a...
Article
An intricate, long, and occasionally heated debate surrounds Boltzmann’s H-theorem (1872) and his combinatorial interpretation of the second law (1877). After almost a century of devoted and knowledgeable scholarship, there is still no agreement as to whether Boltzmann changed his view of the second law after Loschmidt’s 1876 reversibility argument...
Article
In the last forty years a vast scholarship has been dedicated to the reconstruction of Planck's theory of black-body radiation and to the historical meaning of quantization. Since the introduction of quanta took place for combinatorial reasons, Planck's understanding of statistics must have played an important role. In the first part of this paper,...
Article
In the last forty years a vast scholarship has been dedicated to the reconstruction of Planck's theory of black‐body radiation and to the historical meaning of quantization. Since the introduction of quanta took place for combinatorial reasons, Planck's understanding of statistics must have played an important role. In the first part of this paper,...
Article
The foundation of statistical mechanics and the explanation of the success of its methods rest on the fact that the theoretical values of physical quantities (phase averages) may be compared with the results of experimental measurements (infinite time averages). In the Thirties, this problem, called the ergodic problem, was dealt with by an ergodic...
Article
Full-text available
Boltzmann’s equilibrium theory has not received by the scholars the attention it deserves. It was always interpreted as a mere generalization of Maxwell’s work and, in the most favorable case, a sketch of some ideas more consistently developed in 1872 memoir. In this paper, I tried to prove that this view is ungenerous. My claim is that in the theo...
Article
The aim of this paper is not only to deal with the concept of infinity, but also to develop some considerations about the epistemological status of cosmology. These problems are connected because from an epistemological point of view, cosmology, meant as the study of the universe as a whole, is not merely a physical (or empirical) science. On the c...
Article
Full-text available
There are two basic approaches to the problem of induction:the empirical one, which deems that the possibility of induction depends on how theworld was made (and how it works) and the logical one, which considers the formation(and function) of language. The first is closer to being useful for induction, whilethe second is more rigorous and clearer....
Article
This paper analyzes the epistemological significance of the problem of induction. In the first section, the foundation of this problem is identified in the thesis of gnoseological dualism: we only know our representations as separate from ‘the world itself’. This thesis will be countered by the thesis of gnoseological monism. In the second section,...
Article
When at the end of the 1900s Planck introduced the constant h into the black-body radiation law together with constant k, he provided no explanation of either its meaning or why it had that particular value. He simply introduced it. In reality the history of the constant was far from straightforward. Planck was confident enough to introduce it like...

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Project (1)
Project
The aim of the project is to track the development of the concept of order in mathematical physics from the 18th century on. I will also investigate the emergence of the concept of chaos at the end of the 19th century as part of the same narrative.