Hawking radiation and analogue experiments: A Bayesian analysis

Radin Dardashti, Stephan Hartmann, Karim Thébault*, Eric Winsberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


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.

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
Early online date11 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Science and Philosophy


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