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Hawking radiation and analogue experiments: A Bayesian analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalStudies In History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies In History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Volume67
Early online date11 May 2019
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Apr 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 11 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Aug 2019

Abstract

We present a Bayesian analysis of the epistemology of analogue experiments with particular reference to Hawking radiation. First, we prove that such experiments can be confirmatory in Bayesian terms based upon appeal to ‘universality arguments’. Second, we provide a formal model for the scaling behaviour of the confirmation measure for multiple distinct realisations of the analogue system and isolate a generic saturation feature. Finally, we demonstrate that different potential analogue realisations could provide different levels of confirmation. Our results provide a basis both to formalise the epistemic value of analogue experiments that have been conducted and to advise scientists as to the respective epistemic value of future analogue experiments.

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  • Centre for Science and Philosophy

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2019.04.004 . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

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