Ethics Inside and Outside the Physics Lab

  • Marshall ThomsenEmail author
Living reference work entry


Most ethical issues that arise in the field of physics can also be found in other disciplines, yet by comparison to other fields such as the life sciences, much less has been written about ethical issues in physics. There are, however, a handful of well-documented and well-explored cases in physics that highlight important ethical issues. By exploring these cases, we can understand key issues that routinely confront physicists, albeit in much less dramatic ways than illustrated by these better known cases. This chapter will explore the Ninov and Schön cases, the N Ray affair, the “cold fusion” phenomenon, the role of physicists in weapons research, and underrepresented groups in physics. The impact of these events on professional codes within the physics community will be discussed.


Ethical physics Research misconduct Weapons research Manhattan Project Victor Ninov Hendrik Schön N rays Cold fusion Leo Szilard Victor Weisskopf Physics codes 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

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