The Nature of Discovery in Physics
By their very nature, those discoveries which most change the way we perceive our physical universe are difficult to anticipate. How then, are such discoveries made, and what experimental approaches are most likely to lead to discoveries? In this article I will describe four experiments in which I have participated that have yielded unexpected new physics, and attempt to explain how they came about.
KeywordsNobel Prize Nuclear Spin Weak Localization Bell Laboratory Melting Pressure
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.D. Goodstein and J. Goodstein, “Richard Feynman and the History of Superconductivity” in History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics, ed. H.B. Newman and T. Ypsilantis, Plenum, N.Y. (1996), pp. 773–779.Google Scholar
- 3.R.W. Wilson, The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation Les Prix Nobel 1978, eds. Siegbahn, K., et al., Almqvist & Wiksell, Stockholm, (1979) pp. 113–133.Google Scholar
- 5.D. Wilkinson, private communication.Google Scholar
- 6.I. Pomeranchuk, “On the theory of liquid 3He”, Zh. Eksperim. i Theor. Fiz. 20, 919–926 (1950).Google Scholar
- 8.W.E. Keller, Helium-3 and Helium-4, Plenum, N.Y. (1969).Google Scholar
- 10.D.D. Osheroff, Superfluidity in 3 He: Discovery and Understanding, Les Prix Nobel 1996, eds. T. Frngsmyr and Brigitta Lundeberg, Norstedts Tryckeri AB, Stockholm (1997) pp. 103–133. Also: Rev. Mod. Phys. 69, 667–681 (1997), and available from World Scientific Publishers (Singapore) on CD ROM.Google Scholar
- 20.P.W. Anderson, E. Abrahams, and T.V. Ramakrishnan, “Possible explanation of nonlinear conductivity in thin-film metal wires”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 717–720 (1979) and G.R. Dolan and D.D. Osheroff, “Non-metallic conduction in thin metal films at low temperatures”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 43, 721–724 (1979).ADSGoogle Scholar
- 22.Tunnelling Systems in Solids, ed. P. Esquinazi, Springer (1998).Google Scholar