Article ID: CBB001210188

Kitcher's Explanatory Unification, Kaluza-Klein Theories, and the Normative Aspect of Higher Dimensional Unification in Physics (2012)


I examine the relation between explanation and unification in both the original Kaluza--Klein theory, which originated in the works of Theodor Kaluza and Oskar Klein in the 1920s, and in the modern Kaluza--Klein theories which date back to the late 1970s and which are still considered by the majority of the physics community to be the best hope for a complete unified theory of all fundamental interactions. I use the conclusions of this case study to assess the merits of Philip Kitcher's account of explanation as unification. I also draw lessons about physicists' pursuit of the higher dimensional unification of the fundamental forces of nature.

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Authors & Contributors
Eintalu., Jüri
Nersessian, Nancy J.
Thalos, Mariam
Katzir, Shaul
Halpern, Paul
Kragh, Helge S.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences
Physics in Perspective
Science and Education
Oxford University Press
State University of New York Press
Cambridge University Press
Indiana University
University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Philosophy of science
Explanation; hypotheses; theories
Relativity, general
Grand unified theories (nuclear physics)
Newton, Isaac
Klein, Oskar Benjamin
Maxwell, James Clerk
Curie, Pierre
Curie, Jacques
Voigt, Woldemar
20th century
17th century
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
20th century, late

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